Canterbury records country’s strongest growth

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the latest National Bank Regional Trends data showing Canterbury’s economy grew 1.8 per cent in the September quarter, following 2.6 per cent growth in the June quarter.
Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery

21 November 2011 Media Statement
Canterbury records country’s strongest growth

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has welcomed the latest National Bank Regional Trends data showing Canterbury’s economy grew 1.8 per cent in the September quarter, following 2.6 per cent growth in the June quarter.

“Growth statistics for Canterbury in the last two quarters is clear evidence of recovery activity and is a testament to the resilience and commitment of Cantabrians,” Mr Brownlee said.
“Canterbury’s economic growth is the strongest of any region in the country, and I expect it to continue as reconstruction gains momentum.”

The September quarter growth figure follows the release of economic data by the Ministry of Economic Development showing trade through Canterbury’s ports and airport hit a two-year high in September of $950 million.
Mr Brownlee said Canterbury’s economic recovery would also gather pace as insurance cover for new projects becomes more available.

“International insurance brokers and underwriters have been visiting Christchurch, assessing the opportunities to write cover, and new business is being written.

“The Government has worked closely with these groups to ensure they understand the strong case for their re-entry into the market, including future building codes and the declining seismic risk,” Mr Brownlee said.

“New Zealand based underwriters have also begun writing some new cover in the city, and while the situation has been challenging, large scale rebuilding projects are getting under way as insurance becomes more available.

“As the ground settles and more seismic data is made available to insurers and reinsurers, insurance underwriters are better able to price insurance contracts.”

The recovery to date has been largely export and construction led, but Mr Brownlee said there was good news for the worst affected sectors of Canterbury’s economy.

“The successful launch of Re:Start on 29 October has marked a new beginning for inner city retail.

“Already new businesses are queuing up to become established in Cashel Mall, and the development of innovative temporary solutions in the suburbs demonstrates that retailers are finding new ways to connect with their customers.”

The tourism industry will also receive a considerable boost from the 80 cruise ships expected to visit Akaroa Harbour this summer. Hotel occupancy at over 85 per cent has led hotel operators to explore the opportunities created by the loss of thousands of beds in the city.

“Christchurch is the South Island’s tourism gateway. As the accommodation stock is repaired and rebuilt, we can expect tourism numbers to continue to increase.

”There will be additional economic activity this summer thanks to the use of CERA powers to speed the delivery of new suburbs to replace the residential housing stock lost in the earthquakes.

“The naysayers and doom merchants who predicted the region’s downfall and still chant ‘it’s stalled’ are being proved wrong by Cantabrians’ determination to succeed,” Mr Brownlee said.

ENDS

www.nationalbank.co.nz/economics/regional/201111/default.aspx

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url