Economic recovery continues in Canterbury

  • Gerry Brownlee
Earthquake Recovery

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the latest release of official data showing Canterbury’s economy is making steady positive progress.

Today’s release is the fifth since the data sets were first released by the Ministry for Economic Development in June, and shows a number of clear trends.

Mr Brownlee said Canterbury had been amazingly resilient over recent months, with businesspeople and employees making small but significant changes in their daily lives.

"This flexibility has seen Canterbury buck all the predictions of mass migration, a hollowing out of the economy and a huge increase in unemployment.

"Through earthquakes and snowstorms the city is still getting up and going to work. The good news is that rather than just coping, Canterbury’s economy is steadily picking up."

The Canterbury Economic Indicators reveal that manufacturing and exports have grown consistently since the February earthquakes, while job advertisements have increased sharply in recent months.

Most other indicators are stable, showing that many businesses are managing well; however some industries such as tourism and retail continue to struggle.

Key indicators showed:

  • Business cessations (closures) in August were the lowest of any month this year
  • Exports and imports from major ports and the airports have improved significantly since the February earthquake and are higher than in August 2010
  • Manufacturing has been expanding since June and in August expanded at a rate higher than the rest of New Zealand
  • Job advertisements continue to increase strongly as the recovery gathers pace
  • Net migration from the region remains negative but has been improving since May
  • Spending remains at 90 – 95 per cent of pre-quake levels

Mr Brownlee said Canterbury’s future looked bright, with migration from the region slowing and job ads spiking.

"Trade Me this week announced a 73 per cent increase in advertised jobs in Canterbury compared to a year ago, fuelled by high demand from employers in the construction, engineering, trades and transport sectors,” Mr Brownlee said.

"Despite all they’ve been through I believe confidence is growing among Cantabrians, and with good reason.

"I want in particular to recognise the willingness of the Canterbury workforce to do things differently and for the flexibility so many have shown which has allowed businesses to continue operating with confidence."

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) is responsible for rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information visit