3000 Brit builders helping reconstruct Christchurch

3000 Brit builders helping reconstruct Christchurch

3000 Brit builders helping reconstruct Christchurch

New Zealand has recruited some 3,000 skilled construction workers from the UK to help rebuild Christchurch after the devastating earthquakes.

In the three years following the February 2011 destruction of the centre of the South Island city Kiwi immigration officials have granted 3,000 visas to UK construction workers. The majority of expat construction professionals are now based in Christchurch, working on the long-term project of resorting the city's heart to its former glory.

An estimated NZ$20 billion of damage was caused by the massive quake, with repairs and rebuilding expected to continue for some years. The figures released by Immigration New Zealand come as a preamble to spring expos planned for Dublin, Manchester and London in order to attract yet more migrants to the rebuilding project.

According to a spokeswoman for the immigration authority, the need for skilled workers from overseas will be a priority for the department for some time due to the scale of the rebuilding project. Present skill shortages include project managers, engineers, carpenters, drain layers, foremen, forewomen and qualified surveyors.

Stephen Holder, a project manager formerly living in Brighton, Sussex, told the media that he had made the decision to emigrate to New Zealand because of the country’s low population numbers, unspoilt natural beauty and outdoor activities. Other migrant workers from the UK cited a better work/life balance, less stressful lifestyle, friendly people, a safety environment for thier families and the warmer climate as reasons for their move.

Another major reason for migration was that many felt the need to be part of the iconic rebuilding project as a commitment to future generations of New Zealanders. Long-term job opportunities are being offered, and skilled workers are being made more than welcome.

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