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