Businesses test the lie of Christchurch land

About 17 Marlborough businesses are in Christchurch today firming up relations with major players involved in the city's rebuild.

With trips to the red zone and new developments, the Marlborough delegates will get a sense of the scale of the job which is expected to last 10 to 15 years, as some 150,000 houses and 75 per cent of the Christchurch central business district are rebuilt.

The trip to Christchurch, dubbed the "council-Marlborough business initiative" or Combi, was organised by former Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns, the Marlborough District Council and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.

Combi is the second phase of their initiative, which follows a forum held in Blenheim last year.

The Marlborough businesses, along with council and chamber representatives, were to be based in the Westpac Business Hub at the Addington Showgrounds in Christchurch.

Blenheim and Picton ITM Building Centre co-owner Gary Knofflock said the trip would help give him a good idea of the size and scale of the rebuild and what is required.

ITM has already been manufacturing pre-fabricated timber frames and trusses and aluminium windows for the rebuild.

He was pleased the rebuild was starting to gain traction because some 20 per cent of his client base were Canterbury bach owners.

In the past two years, there had been a 50 to 60 per cent drop in turnover for him during the summer holidays, because Cantabrians had not had the money to spend on bach maintenance, he said.

This morning, the Marlborough delegates were to be briefed by the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce and Fletchers, which had the Government contract to manage the residential rebuild.

They were also to hear from the Cera Christchurch Central Development Unit about the rebuild's scale, progress and opportunities, and the Stronger Christchurch Rebuild Infrastructure Team.

Chamber manager Brian Dawson said the showcase Marlborough event tonight, with a guest list of 150 of Christchurch's "movers and shakers", would provide the best networking opportunities for the businesses.

Tomorrow the delegates would visit the red zone and Ngai Tahu's 2500-section development.

They also had the opportunity to visit the 22-storey Pacific Tower building, which was being repaired with assistance from Blenheim firm Cuddon Engineering.


Smart Alliances, Protech Design, Toll New Zealand, Nelson Forests, Robinson Construction, Placemakers Blenheim, TH Barnes, Aurecon, Cuddon Engineering, Kula Contracting, Pre-Fab New Zealand, MC Construction, Christo Sagger Landscape Design and Build, ITM Blenheim Building Centre, ITM Renwick Building Centre, NMIT, Brendon Burns and Associates.

The Marlborough Express