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Canterbury reflections 2 years on

By Tony McPherson

Evidence of a momentum of activity in the Christchurch re-build is now appearing. A disappointing aspect of recent times is the amount of negative media around the recovery. Experts suggest this is a normal part of the cycle after traumatic events, but let’s reflect and focus on the positive.

Some bold decisions have been made at critical times. The red zone decision allowed people to move on with a broader positive effect across the region. The methodology on compensation did create some winners and some losers but what other process could have been achieved in a timely manner! Some people appear to have short memories. Think back on the amazing support from the rest of New Zealand and the government.

The high level of insurance coverage is unusual internationally for this type of event; over 80% compared with eg Japan which has just over 20% and Chile, approximately 10%. This high level of insurance compared with the on-going after shocks has slowed the re-build process. The billions of dollars on this insurance pay out with the majority to be spent again in Canterbury will sustain a level of civil engineering between 10 to 20 times greater than any project in New Zealand’s history. This will carry our local economy through the next few years with the expectation that the world will have regained traction as the          re-build tapers off.

 The reality of the whole recovery is massive, the Geotech drilling and studies to ensure the understanding and requirements for the re-build and the handling of approximately 1 million insurance claims, if you separate each individual EQC claim.

 The CCR Plan is bold, in 10 years time we will have a world class city.

 Let’s focus on the positive, what other country in the world could have come through this event and supported its people better? The Christchurch economy has already surpassed pre-earthquake levels, population has been retained against production. Each week services and entertainment gradually returns, we are fast becoming one of the most exciting places to be.

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