140 more jobs have been lost in Christchurch. Employment in the region had already fallen by 26,800 in the year to September. DoL research says that 18% of surviving businesses cut staff due the earthquakes, 40% lost revenue, 50% survived with government support, and 28% a finding they are losing more staff. The economy is dying, not rebuilding.
NZIER’s Shamubeel Eaqub says
“What we’re saying is because of the delays, the issues of insurance … the on-the-ground situation is still pretty tough. How much you need to do (for the rebuild) is going to be very dependent on how much demand there is … “The longer we wait the more businesses and more people are leaving”
The latest Consensus Forecasts show the outlook deteriorating once again. The 4% growth next year that National promised is slashed to 3% and likely to be lower. NZIER says it will be just 1.5%.
The country as a whole is becoming more dependent on the rebuild to create jobs and growth but the start date for the rebuild keeps getting pushed out further and further.
The longer that this is left to happen – and, yes, I mean left, the delays are due to the government not getting the insurance situation sorted – the less demand will be left for any rebuild. The people and the money will go, mostly to Australia and Auckland. Handled wrongly – ie as it has been so far – we could see a second round of economic trauma as people who were relying on the rebuild also give up and leave. Already, jobs are being lost because of the lack of rebuilding work, including 40 at a mill in Upper Hutt.
Laissez faire disaster management hasn’t worked. It’s time for Gerry Brownlee to get off his arse and do the the things we’ve been telling him need to be done all alone. For the sake of Christchurch’s future, and the whole country.