Christchurch catching up

rebuildgraphicCatching up is hard to do, but Christchurch appears to have managed it and then some.

Four years after the earthquakes The Press has found many underlying indicators returning to normal and others more typical of a rebuilding city.

There are no prizes for guessing that the construction industry has produced a huge amount of activity in the city. Compared to 2010, dwelling consents have quadrupled in Christchurch and, according to cement producers Holcim, twice as much cement has been sold.

Car imports coming over the Lyttelton wharfs have increased by about 15,000 in a 2010-2014 comparison and working-age people dependent on benefits have decreased in Christchurch by about 8077.

Container traffic at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch in the 2014 financial year was about 100,000 containers higher than in 2010.

The median household income was about $48,000 in 2010 and has risen to an inflation- adjusted figure of more than $54,000 in 2014. While Christchurch seems to be a bit richer than in 2010, it has lost about 7000 people, according to the 2006 and 2013 censuses.

A smaller population is not reflected in flows at the Bromley Treatment Plant, however. In the year before the first earthquake the current daily flow was 155,544 cubic metres a day and in 2014 it had gone up to 215,280m3/day. The 40 per cent increase in flow was mainly because of groundwater getting into the system through cracked pipes, a council spokeswoman said.

Electricity supplied has yet to return to 2010 levels and Orion New Zealand has about 2000 fewer customers.

Orion spokesman Stephen Godfrey said power usage on the Orion network fell 10 per cent after the February 2011 earthquake but energy usage had recently begun to recover as homes were rebuilt and the city grew. “However, it may be [several] years before power usage returns to 2010 levels. Power usage throughout the country has been flat in recent years as energy efficiency in homes and businesses improves.”

The number of diesel- powered machines in Christchurch has not translated into a big increase in bulk fuel supplies coming into Christchurch and the tonnage in 2014 has not increased much over the 2010 figure.

Christchurch Airport has yet to achieve the level of activity it had in 2010, with passenger numbers and aircraft movements down on 2010.


  • The Press
  • Martin Van Beynen

Christchurch pips Auckland for cranes

SCCZEN_A_271113NZHGBCRANE3_620x310Major centres are sprouting a growing crane population, with 76 cranes now on big sites.

The Rider Levett Crane Index shows Christchurch is the country’s crane capital, with 31 of the giants, followed by Auckland with 26, Hamilton with seven, Wellington with six, four in Queenstown and one each in Dunedin and Tauranga.

Chris Haines, Auckland director of consultants Rider Levett Bucknall, said national crane numbers rose 7 per cent during the past six months.

“The Four Avenues area of Christchurch has recorded a 41 per cent increase in the number of cranes counted on its city skyline in the past six months. Twenty-one cranes have been removed or dismantled as projects or parts of larger projects near completion but 30 new cranes are now onsite, making Christchurch the NZ crane capital,” Haines said.

Cranes are on the sites of the Justice Precinct, Cashel Square, Awley development and many are in the reconstruction zone in Gloucester St, Cambridge Tce and Hereford St.

Work has also started at the Southern Cross Hospital and Christ’s College, according to Haines.

In Auckland, the crane population rose 4 per cent in the past six months, including at Metlifecare’s The Poynton between Takapuna and Milford and an additional crane on the University of Auckland’s science centre project on Symonds St. Cranes are on apartment blocks rising in Howe St, Ponsonby, Eden Tce, and Exmouth St.

Queenstown has seen a big increase in the number of cranes with three new ones erected, all for commercial projects – one in Shotover St and two in Frankton. A single crane had been erected at the Shotover Primary School, Haines said.

“Wellington has remained steady with six cranes, equal to the previous count. For the residential sector there has been a crane removed at each of Rugby St, Cable St and Clyde Quay and the continuation of Taranaki St, leaving just one crane for the residential sector.

“Civil maintain two cranes with the continuation of Buckle St tunnel and the commercial sector has one crane each for commencements at Wigan St, The Terrace and Waterloo Quay.”


  • Anne Gibson
  • NZ Herald
  • Photo: Greg Bowker

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