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Hi all,

First post on here, sorry if it is a bit long. I am looking at my options (have been for many years in truth) and I am of the understanding that I have a high demand skill for the purposes of the the Christchurch rebuild. Accordingly I am seriously looking at the prospect of working in Chch for 1 or 2 years. However, whilst I am used to working away on my own etc, this will be a huge decision, especially as the relocation to work here will be taken alone. I have friends who have previously worked in NZ who are back in the UK right now, but may relocate again in the future so I have some second hand knowledge. But my questions are; has anyone on here relocated to Chch on their own, relocated for the purposes of the rebuild, and/or relocated to Chch for a new start? If so I would love to hear from you with any hints/tips/advice/realities and experiences. There are ulterior motives for choosing Chch with respect to the outdoor activites too, what is the reality for access to the ski hills and bike trails? That will do for now I think!

Thanks
 

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has anyone on here relocated to Chch on their own, relocated for the purposes of the rebuild, and/or relocated to Chch for a new start? If so I would love to hear from you with any hints/tips/advice/realities and experiences.
I have just moved to Christchurch for the rebuild - well, technically my husband's here for the rebuild and I'm just a tag-along. Workwise (my husband is a carpenter) it is very, very busy, though by the looks of it majority or work hasn't even started yet. Some guys with several years of building experience and carpentry diplomas are joking that they are the best paid cleaners in Christchurch - lots of floor sweeping and odd jobs at full-on carpentry rates.

Roads are bumpy, traffic often slow because of roadworks and orange cones, eastern suburbs sort of... sad-looking, but it's perfectly livable. In general, it looks kinda Eastern European-ish. I was saying to my husband yesterday when we were in New Brighton that with all the potholes and gravel it's really not much different from where my grandparents were living during Soviet times =D.

So when people say that Christchurch is crazy and horrible - my ex workmate said that a few weeks ago - I can see why they would say that, but personally I don't agree. It is probably pretty horrible being a homeowner, living in a broken neighborhood waiting on insurance, but living as a tenant in an undamaged house - like I am - is really... usual, actually.

The only horrible thing, really, is how people drive. THAT'S nuts! There are lots of 30 km/h signs around roadworks, but cars just... keep on going. I slow down and within seconds the traffic ahead of me disappears in distance while the boys behind me get all antsy. I don't know if Chch has always been like that, but changing lines is a mayor pain in the hole.
 

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hi suslik

would you mind telling me what an experienced carpenter can earn in christchurch per week and what are the taxes like??
 

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hi suslik

would you mind telling me what an experienced carpenter can earn in christchurch per week and what are the taxes like??
Per week it really depends on how many hours you're doing. Hourly rates are, in general - depending on experience and responsibilities - between 20 and 30 dollars, so I'd say take 25 and calculate from there. Carpenters are easily doing 40+ hours a week. Taxes depend - again, in general - on how much you're earning, so have a look at Inland Revenue website. Trademe.co.nz has many carpentry listings under "Jobs", several have hourly rates advertised.

By and large, carpentry is not a profession that will make you rich in Christchurch, mostly because of how high the rental prices are (again, have a look at Trademe.co.nz), but unless you're silly, it'll give you a comfortable living standard and a little bit of savings.
 

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Per week it really depends on how many hours you're doing. Hourly rates are, in general - depending on experience and responsibilities - between 20 and 30 dollars, so I'd say take 25 and calculate from there. Carpenters are easily doing 40+ hours a week. Taxes depend - again, in general - on how much you're earning, so have a look at Inland Revenue website. Trademe.co.nz has many carpentry listings under "Jobs", several have hourly rates advertised.

By and large, carpentry is not a profession that will make you rich in Christchurch, mostly because of how high the rental prices are (again, have a look at Trademe.co.nz), but unless you're silly, it'll give you a comfortable living standard and a little bit of savings.
hey thanks for your reply....
i am currently looking at the trademe site and there does seem to be plenty of work there.
my problem is i have heard stories of carpenters who have arrived in NZ and were unable to find work and had to return to ireland at a considerable expense.....
but i also know there can be different reasons for these stories.....
was it easy for you to find work there?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hey thanks for your reply....
i am currently looking at the trademe site and there does seem to be plenty of work there.
my problem is i have heard stories of carpenters who have arrived in NZ and were unable to find work and had to return to ireland at a considerable expense.....
but i also know there can be different reasons for these stories.....
was it easy for you to find work there?
Someone might be able to clarify but I guess there is still a lot of inertia prior to the rebuild....given that the current situation is demanding people at predevelopment stage (as I am considering) I can only imagine it will really pick up in the coming years?
 

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^ article from today's NZ Herald - it appears to be an extremely slow process

Quake rebuilds lag a long way behind claims
Sunday Sep 30, 2012

Insurance payouts are moving at a sluggish rate in Christchurch, and it will be at least 2015 before major companies have processed all claims.

At the end of July, NZI told brokers that only 51 claims for rebuilds and repairs had been processed.

That outraged some people, who contacted the Herald on Sunday to ask why, with thousands of claims outstanding, the number was so small.

IAG, which manages earthquake responses for State, NZI and Lantern policies and those from BNZ, ASB and the Co-operative Bank, said it had received 67,000 earthquake-related claims, 6500 of which were rebuilds or repairs.

It said just 100 homes would have been rebuilt or repaired by the end of the year. Spokesman Craig Dowling said that by June next year IAG would have built at least 500 homes and "we have 567 new homes at various build stages, and 481 significant repairs to existing homes at various stages".

Meanwhile, some Vero clients may not see work begin until 2015. Vero said it would start repairs and rebuilding over three years.

more

The Christchurch Press runs a separate section for earthquake related articles- may be of interest to anyone considering the move: Christchurch Earthquake 2011
 

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I am not sure if residential insurance claims are the best indicator of how busy rebuilding is. My husband's crew spends most of the time on commercial builds, then there's road repairs, sewage, water mains, public land...
 

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Someone might be able to clarify but I guess there is still a lot of inertia prior to the rebuild....given that the current situation is demanding people at predevelopment stage (as I am considering) I can only imagine it will really pick up in the coming years?
I so feel for the Christchurch residents, but I think you are right, Kevin.
I don't know if any of you remember the explosion at Buncefield in Hemel Hempstead, UK, in December 2005, but I certainly do. Our office was about 0.5 km away from the centre of the explosion (which fortunately was early on a Sunday morning, when very few people were on an industrial estate).
In the year following, while walking round the surrounding industrial estate during my lunchtimes, I took various photos. And really nothing started moving on the rebuild front for that first year.
One of the reasons for this is the time it takes for the insurance companies to process all the claims. They only have limited numbers of experienced staff, and they are just not set up for a major influx in one go. That's no comfort for the people who's buildings have been damaged, but it is understandable.
And the big difference between Buncefield and Christchurch is the community affected. Buncefield was on an industrial estate, and there were very few domestic residences. It's one thing going into a badly damaged office every day, but quite another having to go home to a badly damaged home - much more stressful.
The comparison is though that Buncefield kept the local building community in work for a number of years - and as far as I know there are still some places being rebuilt!
 

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One of the biggest problems for the rebuild is definitely the insurance companies. They were totally unprepared for an event of this magnitude (I'm not judging this or saying any other industry/country would have been, I'm just saying as a matter of fact they were not prepared) and some are basically rebuilding their systems from the ground up to cope with the number of claims they are dealing with. The other issue is reinsurance. Every NZ insurance company is heavily reinsured, and without reinsurance cannot continue to function, and that includes offering new insurance policies. Reinsurers are extremely cautious about offering reinsurance in Christchurch, so even if someone has permission to rebuild their house, they may never get insurance, and without insurance no build will happen.

Between those two things, as well as all the other factors that influence when someone can build - local and central government processes etc - it is taking a long, long time to get the rebuild going. The slow trickle will probably turn into a flood one day, but I don't think anyone is predicting when that will happen.
 

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As an outsider looking in, and, maybe soon to be insider....I think there a whole bunch of issues. I cant comment on whats happening on the ground, but this is a rebuild on an even bigger scale than the Stratford City (London Olympics) development.....which of course took 7 years, and, had a 'local' staff pool of 65m people, plus resources from around Europe. NZ has a pool of 4m people to re-build a city, compounded by the Aussies' mining boom offering construction proffesionals astronomic salaries, this I would assume is making it very difficult for the Cantabrians to get things off the ground. Without saying too much, I know there are certain industry sectors where there are significant shortages of experienced people, critically at pre-development stages, which will lead to inertia, and, as I have said the Aussies offering $150k AUD and up for similar jobs it is difficult to get the numbers on the ground......that said, I for one would much rather work on a Site where it aint 35C, dusty dry, and surrounded by things that want to eat me.....:)
 

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Opportunities in Christchurch

Hi Kevinm1230,

I am a Brit who has been living in Christchurch since July 2010 (just before the first quake :)). I would say it depends on your skill-set: there seem to be lots of construction project management jobs and a guy who has just moved from the UK told me his firm has 200 projects on its books.

The NZ Herald is a bit pessimistic - it's an Auckland-based paper so not really in tune with Canterbury. Also the local paper The Press is a bit pessimistic too.

I agree with comments that lots of commercial buildings, hotels and offices are under construction/reconstruction. You may not know that lots of damaged buildings are still being deconstructed! House building is slower for the insurance/reinsurance reasons mentioned by some commentators.

The outdoor opportunities are great for road cycling, running and some hiking. Some mountain bike trails are still closed post-quake. The ski fields are 1 and a half to two hours away and I understand have had a great season, though the snow is too cold for me! Akaroa, Kaikoura and other good destinations are two hours away by car so it's great for weekends plus you can always fly to the warmer North Island.

The main reason to come is for the outdoors - but we also have lots of volunteering opportunities like the Coastguard (if you're into boats).

Hope that helps,

Cheers and good luck
 
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