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23 May 2013
New Zealand is looking for workers from the UK to help with the reconstruction of Christchurch. The city, which is situated on New Zealand's South Island, was destroyed by an earthquake in 2010. The New Zealand government has undertaken to rebuild the city. It estimates that the cost of the rebuild will be NZ$8.5bn (£4.7bn).
Immigration New Zealand is keen to attract workers with the skills to help with the rebuild; At a time when New Zealand needs more immigrants the number of migrants leaving the UK for New Zealand has fallen by 5,000 a year over the last six years. The New Zealand Herald says that New Zealand is seeking British workers because they would be 'an easy fit' in New Zealand because of the similarities of culture and because the two countries share a common language.
The government plans to rebuild the city as an environmentally friendly community full of low-rise buildings. On current projections, there will be 20,000 homes built in the next five years as well as a redevelopment of the city centre. There are vacancies for
The New Zealand Herald reports that there was considerable interest from British workers at a recent recruitment event in Newcastle. New Zealand hopes that the attractions of a less stressful lifestyle, higher average wages and a lower cost of living will attract skilled workers to make the move to the other side of the world.
Recent statistics from the New Zealand government show that the Christchurch rebuild already seems to be attracting international workers. In six of the last seven months New Zealand's population has grown due to net immigration (the number of immigrants has exceeded the number of emigrants), bucking the trend of recent years which have seen many young New Zealanders leaving to work elsewhere, particularly in Australia.
Immigration experts say that they expect strong immigration to continue for the next couple of years at least.
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