Construction spending in Christchurch has hit more than $4 billion thanks to large builds like the planned new Metro Sports Facility.
A million dollars is being spent on construction in Canterbury every two hours – and spending is still rising.
While residential building work has decreased for the first time in three years, commercial and public construction is ramping up, according to Statistics New Zealand.
More than $4.3 billion has been spent on building work in the region in the past year. The dollars going into non-residential construction have jumped 14.6 per cent in the last quarter, after increasing steadily over the past year as the rebuild ramps up.
Neil Kelly, building figures manager for Statistics New Zealand, said while many houses had already been replaced or repaired, commercial construction was still gathering speed.
“You only have to count the cranes. There’s a lot of big stuff going on and those big projects are boosting the numbers.”
Its figures translated to $83 million a week going into Canterbury’s construction industry, or nearly $12m a day.
They came from its work in place survey, which measures the value of new residential and non-residential building, as well as alterations big enough to need consent. It does not include internal refurbishments or minor renovations, or non-building construction such as roads and other infrastructure.
Leighs Construction managing director Anthony Leighs said the commercial market was the busiest it had been in the post-quake environment.
“What we’re seeing in there’s probably the highest level of activity in the market at the moment than there’s ever been… from the total number of buildings being built across the city.”
Leighs believed the momentum would “remain very solid” for two to three more years.
The company’s “top of the pops projects” at the moment were “massive”, including the BNZ and ANZ centres, and the Burwood Hospital rebuild.
Hawkins Construction South Island regional manager Steve Taw agreed, saying the rebuild was “likely to continue at this current rate for at least another 12 months”.
He said the projects the company were working on were likely to be adding to the “ever increasing spend in the Christchurch commercial construction market”, but it was planned and not unexpected.
“It is pleasing to see confidence in our central city increasing with a number of projects in full swing.”
Ian Smith, head of project management company Building Intelligence Group in Christchurch, said while the central city skyline was full of private developers’ cranes, internal work on those buildings and the public sector spend was yet to come.
Rather than peaking , the rebuild would plateau as big projects such as they city’s new central library, Metro sports centre and convention centre got underway.
“There’s going to be quite a lot of money spent on all those buildings.”
Smith said while there were “hot spots” in construction such as the need for structural steel, the market would supply enough materials and labour in most areas.
“By and large the market has responded so far, and met demand.”
- The Press