Seismic shift in the man drought

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 25/11/2012

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Christchurch earthquake

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A rush of men into Christchurch for the city's rebuild is reversing the well-documented man drought.

Canterbury has the country's highest male-female ratio, with men outnumbering women three to two, and the love-hungry newcomers are flooding online dating websites.

Prominent New Zealand online dating sites have recorded a significant increase in male membership in Canterbury over the past year, and say the upswing is most likely due to the proportion of men from all over the world who have come to the city to help with the rebuild.

Rick Davies, founder of findsomeone.co.nz, first noticed a spike in male membership in the region about a year ago.

"Without a lot of the traditional downtown night spots available, we noticed more Cantabrians were going online to find love," he said.

New memberships at findsomeone were up 20 per cent from last year across the country but the site was experiencing a surge in Christchurch.

Wellington and Christchurch have similar populations but for every two people using online dating in the capital, there are at least three doing the same in Christchurch.

Davies said almost one-third of all active Canterbury male members were trade qualified.

"I think it's more that there a lot of blokes from out of town who can't rely on hooking up with ‘a mate of a mate' as they have moved to Christchurch and haven't got established social circles to tap into."

The 18-30 age group was particularly male-dominated, he said.

A spokesperson for LoveOnline .co.nz said there had been a "noticeable increase in members joining since the February earthquake".

"It is likely that due to the rebuild there would be a larger amount of new tradespeople coming to the city as single men so that would account for any increase in this category using a dating site to find a suitable partner."

Davies warned that Christchurch women "could expect plenty of attention" and offered a few words of advice for the forlorn men of quake-hit Christchurch.

"I'd recommend they take a bit more time to stand out from the crowd. Put a few more cracker photos up and make a real effort in terms of profile information - that will make all the difference."

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- Sunday Star Times

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