FAQ - Economy

1. What are the key growth industries in greater Christchurch?

The City has strong growth in Professional and Engineering Services, Financial Services, Construction, and Healthcare; between 2000 and 2010 these industries grew in employment by 42%. It also has a strong IT sector.

2. How much did the economy suffer following the earthquakes of 2010-11?

Regional estimates about the impact of the earthquakes are subject to a degree of error, but it appears that the September earthquake decreased output by about 2.5%–3%. The February earthquake shrank the economy by 6%–8%, which is equivalent to the economic impact from severe recession. The combined total impact over the September 2010–June 2011 period was a decline in output of about 8–11%. In 2011, Treasury estimated that the earthquakes had a 1.5% impact on the national GDP.

Greater Christchurch is now growing more quickly than the national economy, with Treasury’s National Economic Indicators report suggesting strong growth in the Greater Christchurch over the next year.

3. Following the most damaging earthquakes in September and February, how quickly did the economy recover?

Just 9 months after the February earthquake the economy was growing again. It will take some time to get the economy back to where it was before September 2010, but it is growing quickly – between 1–3% every 3 months. Today, the economy is only 4% smaller, in real terms, than it was prior to September 2010.

4. What are the medium-to-long term impacts of the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan likely to be on the economy?

The recovery of the central city will create additional jobs and may increase productivity through higher densities. 5,000 longterm jobs could be added to the economy and the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan could increase the local economy’s productivity relative to not having the plan. Over the medium term, the Recovery Plan may raise greater Christchurch’s GDP level by as much as $300–600 million, resulting in a 2–4% larger economy.

5. How does the Recovery Plan help the economic recovery of the central city?

The Recovery Plan provides confidence to investors about the future and importance of the central city. It provides clear signals about where and how investment will take place. It will also help create a vibrant central city which is vital to attract and retain people. Specifically, the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan delivers on four high level objectives that deliver strong economic outcomes. The Recovery Plan:

  • creates a more compact, more productive core
  • anchors employment by providing civic infrastructure
  • provides distinct areas in which clusters can form
  • enables the creation of employment linkages

6. How does the Recovery Plan help to anchor employment and create clusters?

The Frame – especially the southern component – will create an environment that attracts key workers and new employers, and the Convention Centre’s retail and hospitality offering will help create a space for the exchange of ideas and will anchor high-end office locations.

The South Frame will create an ideal environment for skilled labour to be located, and the lower employment density envisioned within this frame would support ‘technology’ or ‘research park’-style development similar to that in other cities. The redevelopment of the hospital and health precinct will link to CPIT and reemphasise the educational connection to the hospital and enable the emergence of biotechnical clusters.

7. How fast will the anchor project programme be implemented?

The effective implementation of the anchor project programme will require multi-agencies to work together. An indicative timetable is contained in the Recovery Plan at page 46.

Ultimately, achieving a sustained recovery is up to the decisions of many different private sector actors.

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