Christchurch rebuild halves emigration from New Zealand South Island

Published:  16 Oct at 6 PM
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Ever since the rebuild of earthquake-devastated Christchurch began, Kiwi expats have been returning to help, with nationals who’d planned to migrate also joining in the reconstruction of their much-loved city.

Migration from New Zealand’s South Island has almost halved during the past two years, with locals joining with incomers from overseas. Everyone wants to be a part of of the rebirth of a city, with experienced expat construction engineers, experts and craftsmen in the building trade all working hand in hand whatever their nationality.

Information from a recently released government report confirms that migrant numbers have dropped from 5630 in 2012 to 3026 as of August 2014. Over the same time scale, Kiwi returnee arrivals increased by 29 per cent from 1975 to 2779.

The massive rebuild has created thousands of jobs, mainly in the construction trade, and local recruitment companies are reporting that the influx of job enquiries from Kiwi expatriates is ongoing. Many left to find jobs, but the rebuild is still short of skilled workers in all sectors of the construction trade.

One Christchurch employment agency, Decipher Group, told local reporters that painters and builder are in short supply at present, adding that the region was experiencing a shrinking source of labour. Even so, the number of those working on the reconstruction showed a considerable increase during the first half of 2014.

The Christchurch rebuild and work needing to be done in other districts of the city is likely to continue for a good while yet, with skilled labour sure to find jobs as a result. Many of the recent returnees had opted for a life in Australia, but are finding it tougher than they had expected and are missing their home country as a result.
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