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Honest asessment of Christchurch

Honest asessment of Christchurch

Old Nov 20th 2011, 2:01 pm
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Default Honest asessment of Christchurch

Hi all,

I have applied for a good job with a decent income in Christchurch. The job is in a skill shortage list and I can tick boxes on the points front, so the question I have is, what are Christchrch residents really like, and are people optimistic about the future post-earthquake.
I really need some honest assessments. By this I mean an unbiased general view. I quite understand that the earthquakes have had a profound impact on the local psyche. I've already picked this up in converstaion with my potential employers. However I want to look beyond that to the future because if the job materialises it would be a permanent move from the UK to NZ.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Hi and welcome to BE,

Best of luck with the job. I'm sure you have lots of questions.

I don't know anything about New Zealand, but I've moved your post into our New Zealand forum for you and I'm sure some of our local BE'ers will be along shortly.

Sue
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

I am part of Christchurch's largest employer. We have had some high profile departures of people who could not handle the ongoing problems, and many of my staff have lost their houses. I would say the mood falls somewhere between "resigned" and "optimistic" - the really distressed have already left. Little things make us really happy - Race Week was fantastic, the new Cashel Mall (container shops) has made everyone smile who has been, and our favourite restaurants are gradually re-opening in new locations.

I work with people who are still waiting to rebuild or repair their homes - and now who live in tilted houses, leaky houses, groaning houses. They seem to be stoicially getting on with it - with many an earthquake tale being swapped over lunches.

There is general frustration with decisions made then overturned, and decisions taking too long. CERA are losing support - protest marches against them this weekend. The City Council seems to have no money and little influence, and CERA do seem to have absolute power of all demolitions, even if the owners want to save something. This would seem to include the fate of the Cathedral.

If you drive from the airport into the west, north or south of Christchurch, you would never know we have had an earthquake at all - it is the east side that is gone.

However, there is loads of work here, and there is a chance to see something new and exciting emerge. Eventually......

Jan

Last edited by Jan n Neil; Nov 20th 2011 at 5:25 pm.
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

I agree with Jan mostly. If you are not stuck in the quagmire of trying to get your house/land assessed or repaired, and some decisions as to what is going to happen, Christchurch is still pretty good. The OH and I have been back here 2 years now (after 13 years in Oz) and and I believe that eventually Christchurch will be a fabulous place to live. Having just spent the weekend in Auckland, I would still rather be living here.

We have considered relocating back across the ditch since the earthquake, but we're stuck until a decision is made on our house, and we may well feel differently once that decision is made. Of all the places in NZ, Christchurch is my favourite, but I am biased having been born here. The OH is from Yorkshire, and he prefers it to anywhere else also.

As Jan said, many are frustrated and angry at the authorities who seem to have omnipotent powers at present. Overall though, there are signs of things moving forward and I am hopeful that the new year will bring more optimism.

If you have been offered a good job with a decent income I don't think you'll be disappointed. Rental properties are available, although you need to pick and choose carefully.

Feel free to ask if you have any more q's or want specific info.

Kaye
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

The reasons I love the place are all still here, the ski fields are still here, the mountain bike tracks are (mostly) still here, the big blue sky is still here and the people that matter to me are still here.

There are frustrations, but you get those anywhere. We were planning on moving house this year but, are staying put until the house is fixed. Unlike some people i'm not frustrated with CERA or anyone else. They are all doing the best they can. You can't complain about things not happening and then in the next breath tell them they dont think thing through enough. Holding onto the past is all very well, but not if it stops the future from happening. I know lots of people who thought the container shopping centre was a waste of money, but having been down and had a look I personally think it is an improvement on what was there before, and the boost for the people in the area was visible in the faces.

In general it all will depend on you. The City will come back, but not for a few years, and to be honest even before the world fell over, if you are after the bright lights then CHCH would soon get boring.

I suppose it all comes down to 'what have you got to lose?' and at the end of the day nothing is permanent, no matter what people tell you.

This could turn out to be the best city in the world..... fingers crossed.
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 11:23 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Hello. The February earthquake happened four days before we were due to relocate to Christchurch from the UK. It was to late to pull out. We had sold our house, quit our jobs, said goodbye to friends and family.

Anyway, after visiting my in-laws in Auckland for 3 weeks we arrived in Christchurch in March. We stayed in self catering accomodation (Rattray Rendezvous, Rattray Street, Riccarton) while looking for somewhere to rent. We found somewhere within a week in Linwood the (battered) east of Christchurch. It was a two bed link detached property for the equivalent of £520 per month. BTW rents in NZ are quoted per week.

The road surfaces are cracked and damaged and pot holed because of liquefaction. This is mud/silt that is forced up out of the ground during an earthquake because Christchurch was built on a swamp. It has damaged the ground floors of affected homes and cracked concrete garage floors. It just keeps coming and coming long after the few seconds of earthquake has stopped. It sets like concrete so householders only have a couple of hours to shovel it out of their properties into wheel barrows and leave it in the gutter for the council to collect. There's still the stink of wet silt in the house though. Mould and fungus on the carpet too. Then it happens all over again during the next 'shake'. In the end the army were called into deal with clearing the liquefaction.

The shops have to close because yet again as the groceries have been shaken off the shelves by another ?.? magnitude shake. Imagine the mess as dozens of bottles of wine etc etc smash on the floor. It takes 3 days to tidy it all up. Then it happens again.

There are 6 shopping malls in Christchurch. Only 3 of them are open because of earthquake damage. This means all the shoppers are concentrated into the remaining malls. You think car parking is a joke in your town now ? Try Christchurch.

The red zone is all of the Christchurch CBD. It is cordoned off because of severe earthquake damage. There appeared to be nothing happening there re: demolition I mean, deconstruction. This has to be done prior to re-construction. I could see the leaning tower of Christchurch aka the Grand Chancellor hotel from the upstairs of our house in Linwood. I'm not suprised there have been protests about slow progress of the re-build and other earthquake related matters.

Our house got shaken during every earthquake, just like eveyone else's. The word 'munted' entered my vocabulary this year, it means trashed. Earthquakes large and small happened every day to the point where my husband and I would ask each other, 'has the munter been through yet ?'
It's like living with a bully who smashes up your house just to come back another day to do it all over again just as you had got straight. I asked my self how much more am I going to lose i.e. ornaments, clocks, t.v., pc screen etc etc and still insist it's ok and I like living here ?

Don't forget the infrastructure took a beating too i.e. sewers and drinking water pipes cracked and full of silt and sand which had to be cleared. For months some households could not flush their toilet or get a shower or do any washing up. Portaloos (though they've gone now) will always remind me of Christchurch. There were/are vacant lots around town or yet to be demolished badly damaged buildings and I'm sorry to say this but it looked like a run down inner city, or worse still part of the developing world.

My kiwi husband and I could not find permanent work in Christchurch (despite the exhortation to help with the re-build he was still suffering from being interviewed by one-eyed cantabrians) so when he was offered a job in a city on the North Island we said yes please and left Christchurch on 29 June 2011 having spent all our savings on rent, food, utilities etc. Being unemployed in post earthquake Christchurch in the winter was no fun. That's how 4 or five years planning disappears in about 3 months. He's a management accountant and had handed in an EOI for a job at Christchurch City Council from the UK the day before the earthquake...we must have been so close ! He submitted his cv to loads of employment agencies in ChCh, even the one that deals almost exclusively with the council.

Good luck with your endevours. Come to Christchurch with an open mind. If you have children they will be scared by the earthquakes. It is a very primal fear which is hard enough for an adult to deal with.

Last edited by Snap Shot; Nov 21st 2011 at 12:25 am. Reason: Post wasn't long enough
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

I certainly wouldn't want to sink money in property there. Was that your intention?
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Old Nov 20th 2011, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

It’ll take the full ten years (and maybe then some more) for them to rebuild at this rate and I’m just not convinced they have the budget at the moment to go any faster. The city’s population is declining permanently at a rate of 4% p.a. and unemployment is rising.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to live here but if you get offered a good job and don’t mind the risks involved there is no reason to turn your nose up at it. In fact I’ll be adding to that 4% leaving at the end of this week, which is a pity bit I’ve got to find a job and get on with my life as well.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 1:14 am
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Originally Posted by Ray and Debbie View Post

Good luck with your endevours. Come to Christchurch with an open mind. If you have children they will be scared by the earthquakes. It is a very primal fear which is hard enough for an adult to deal with.
Just to balance this out, much has happened since June and as for Kids. Well I dont have any, but many i know do. The majority of these are fine, and as one I know of is disapointed that they dont happen as often anymore as he really enjoyed surfing his bed across the floor. I have found that its the adults that have struggled and mostly because they struggle to accept that they are random and you cannot control them. Just look at all the nutters and fools that appeared after the fact giving so called predictions that under any other circumstances would be laughted out of town.
The quakes have decreased to the point where I dont notice them anymore and to be honest, you do realise that the whole country is a big fault waiting to pop?
Will it? who knows, can you do anything to stop it? Bugger all.

I'd also like to point out that I have never had an issue with any employer, and have been in the fortunate position to be offered several jobs. It might just be down to what you expect.

I'm not saying by any means that there are not issues and good luck to the people who have decided to leave, but those of us still here (well me at least) would prefer to concentrate on fixing the broken things and promoting the positives.

Peace.

Last edited by theghostofdustybin; Nov 21st 2011 at 1:46 am.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Originally Posted by Welsh traveller View Post
Hi all,

I have applied for a good job with a decent income in Christchurch. The job is in a skill shortage list and I can tick boxes on the points front, so the question I have is, what are Christchrch residents really like, and are people optimistic about the future post-earthquake.
I really need some honest assessments. By this I mean an unbiased general view. I quite understand that the earthquakes have had a profound impact on the local psyche. I've already picked this up in converstaion with my potential employers. However I want to look beyond that to the future because if the job materialises it would be a permanent move from the UK to NZ.

Cheers.
Want to give us a clue as to what sort of work you've been offered and what line of business your employer is in? It's important that it is a local company with a definite work schedule, not one that is taking on more staff in the hope of winning contract, or other work, for the construction.

My advice to you is not to approach the move as a permanent prospect until you have you feet well and truly under the table and are happy with your decision to live and work in Christchurch.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 8:46 am
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

We have lived in Chch for the past 6yrs, and have 2 boys 15 & 11. We were settled in good jobs (and still are) but to be honest the Earthquakes have definately changed our opinion of NZ.
I feel that chch has no heart, the city centre or whats left of it will take years to rebuild and get the much needed tourists back here. I also believe there will be less job opportunities for our children in the future. So along with the emotional roller coaster of not knowing if there is another aftershock or quake on its way, trying to stay strong for my younger son, we have decided to get out of NZ altogether and try our luck in Australia with the spiders & snakes! We have already moved to the other side of the world so hopping across the ditch should be a bit easier to do.
I think you need to be in chch yourself to get the real picture, and when you do come i recommend your first priority is to put together a emergency get thru kit. good luck.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Originally Posted by sarahinnz View Post
We have lived in Chch for the past 6yrs, and have 2 boys 15 & 11. We were settled in good jobs (and still are) but to be honest the Earthquakes have definately changed our opinion of NZ.
I feel that chch has no heart, the city centre or whats left of it will take years to rebuild and get the much needed tourists back here. I also believe there will be less job opportunities for our children in the future. So along with the emotional roller coaster of not knowing if there is another aftershock or quake on its way, trying to stay strong for my younger son, we have decided to get out of NZ altogether and try our luck in Australia with the spiders & snakes! We have already moved to the other side of the world so hopping across the ditch should be a bit easier to do.
I think you need to be in chch yourself to get the real picture, and when you do come i recommend your first priority is to put together a emergency get thru kit. good luck.
Can I ask a question, please... Looking at the number and variety of natural disasters that Oz has suffered and of the numbers of people badly effected, floods, bush fires, cyclones etc, do you think Chch without the terrible earthquake would have been the been where you were happy to remain or do you think even with the number of NZ alternatives available to you Oz has been the main attraction? Hope that makes sense...
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 9:27 am
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Smile Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Originally Posted by sarahinnz View Post
we have decided to get out of NZ altogether and try our luck in Australia with the spiders & snakes!
The good news is I have lived in Australia for 4 years and have not yet seen a snake or been attacked by a man-eating spider.

BB
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 9:36 am
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

I had a couple of flies come in the house today but thankfully there were no major casualties.

Talking of bush fires I see there's been a major one in Northland http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6006...e-in-Northland which could be burning for weeks. Sometimes it's just better to contain them and let them burn out.

I've seen a couple of small ones around here but the smoke from back burning is usually the greater problem. Still, I guess it keeps the snakes and spiders in check
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 10:06 am
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Default Re: Honest asessment of Christchurch

Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee View Post
The good news is I have lived in Australia for 4 years and have not yet seen a snake or been attacked by a man-eating spider.

BB
I learnt a long time ago to not make statements like that.........
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