Website to forge networks

A new business website will pair Canterbury construction firms with potential business partners across New Zealand.

Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend, the project's spokesman, said the website had been launched to keep Canterbury businesses from being overwhelmed by the rebuild. matches up local construction companies who need staff or resources with other Kiwi organisations that can help out.

"The scale of the rebuild is just so big that we simply will not have the resources here to deal with it, and that becomes increasingly obvious every day."

The website would also help businesses outside the region who wanted to help with the rebuild but did not have local connections and relationships.

"I get people every day coming in cold, knocking on my door with a hammer and toolbox and saying, 'We're ready to rebuild Canterbury, where do we start?' But it just doesn't happen like that. The launch had been timed to coincide with rebuild work "ramping up" in the city so local businesses were not put under too much pressure, he said.

"This isn't about outsiders coming in to replace locals . . . this is about outsiders working with locals and helping to build up scale in the city so we can meet demand."

Businesses who worked together for the rebuild could eventually use their new relationships to bid for international projects, Townsend said.

The project is a collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce, the Canterbury Development Corporation, law firms Lane Neave and Anderson Lloyd, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Press