The full scale of the rebuilding of Christchurch and the number of workers that will be needed to carry out the major infrastructure schedule has been revealed by the New Zealand government.
There are two phases which will create thousands of jobs and create opportunities for overseas workers with specific skills. The first is a five year rebuild of underground infrastructure followed by four years on horizontal infrastructure.
Gerry Brownless, the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery said that the work has been prioritised based in a range of factors with the aim being to fix the worst affected areas that impact the most on people.
The city’s mayor Bob Parker unveiled a map setting out indicative timeframes for infrastructure repairs in different areas of the city.
‘This work is one piece of a much bigger and complex city wide recovery programme. But it is highly significant as underground services need to be rebuilt and future proofed so that the city’s recovery is founded on a secure infrastructure base,’ explained Brownlee.
‘It will take another four years to rebuild Christchurch’s horizontal infrastructure and deciding what comes first is not easy. Things might change as work progresses, but residents can now have a good idea of when we’ll be working in their neighbourhood,’ he added.
Parker said that people will begin to see a more resilient and forward looking city emerging from the legacy of the earthquakes and preparatory work has been going on for over a year.
‘Already, we’ve completed 187 projects worth $73 million including rebuilding 39 km of wastewater pipe and laying 92,000 square metres, or 13 rugby fields, of road pavement,’ he pointed out.
SCIRT, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team, has been formed to deliver the infrastructure rebuild. Details of projects set to begin construction in the next six months are also available on the SCIRT website and will be updated quarterly.
Up to 150 SCIRT worksites will be active as the rebuild of infrastructure hits its peak in coming months, with projects sequenced to minimise impact on traffic. Scirt general manager Duncan Gibb said that it is currently recruiting 1,000 workers needed by the end of the year.
There is currently demand for skilled workers, particularly quantity surveyors, project managers and engineers and there is also some demand for tradesmen such as painters, carpenters and plasterers.
Immigration New Zealand said that suitable applicants who meet the requirements of these occupations listed and who have a valid job offer in Christchurch may be granted a temporary work visa without a labour market test needing to be conducted with Work and Income New Zealand.