Businesses flocking to back rebuild initiative

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012

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More than 200 Southland businesses have committed to help with the Christchurch rebuild as part of the Southland Supply initiative and the number continues to grow.

The initiative, organised by Venture Southland, will see labour and services from Southland directed to the Christchurch rebuild but at the same time remain based in the region.

Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson attended a "Collaborate Canterbury" meeting in Christchurch on Wednesday to show how the Southland Supply Initiative was working.

Collaborate Canterbury is a Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority economic recovery strategy project managed by the Canterbury Development Corporation and Canterbury Employers' Association.

Mr Casson, who was updated on the rebuild progress said the positive response from Southland businesses was welcomed at the meeting. He said project managers involved with the rebuild indicated the work flow would be flat in Christchurch until the end of February or March.

In the meantime, the initiative would work with Christchurch and government agencies to develop suitable business structures to support joint industry initiatives.

He said some service and supply contractors would require larger business to take the lead role and that smaller business could be involved as part of specialist or sub-contracting offerings.

More companies were approaching Venture Southland to join the initiative, Mr Casson said.

"Southland businesses are great at putting up their hand to say ‘count us in'."

Businesses ranged from transport companies, to construction companies, to food companies.

"The project is enormous and after visiting Christchurch I saw there is a tremendous amount of residential and commercial work for decades to come," he said.

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