The rebuild may be slow but it should come as no surprise that construction in Christchurch is at record levels.
The latest Statistics New Zealand consent figures show almost a billion dollars worth of new commercial and public buildings were approved for construction in Christchurch in the past year.
The value of the consented work was more than twice any other year on electronic record.
According to Statistics New Zealand, consents for 350 non-residential buildings were issued by the Christchurch City Council in the 12 months to the end of October.
The consents cover commercial as well as public buildings, but exclude non building-construction, such as roads, bridges and pipework.
Residential construction in the city and the Canterbury region is also at record levels, with almost 7000 new Canterbury homes approved in the past year.
ASB bank’s latest Cantometer Index, which tracks economic activity in Canterbury, described construction levels in the region as “very strong”.
ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said that while construction demand in the region was showing some signs of slowing from “very high levels”, they expected demand for commercial building construction to pick up.
Concrete sales were growing strongly, and the rebuild was boosting demand for workers “across the sectors, from construction to professional services.”
The biggest number of Christchurch consents for non-residential construction according to Statistics New Zealand was for office and administration buildings, with 105 worth a total of $417 million getting consent in the past year.
Second was nursing homes and hospitals, with 14 consents for the year worth a total of $193m. Next came shops, taverns and restaurants (37 consents worth a total $101m), and then warehouses and other storage buildings (62 consents totalling $97m).
The city is the second biggest centre for commercial and public building, behind Auckland.
Nationally, non-residential buildings worth $4.9 billion got consents in the year to the end of October. This was up from $4.2b worth in the previous year, and $3.9b worth in the year before that.
The consented buildings had a total of 300 hectares worth of floor space.
As in Christchurch, the biggest spend nationally was on office buildings, with $1.2b worth of projects approved.
This was followed by $722m worth of shops, taverns and restaurants, $687m worth of education buildings, and $497m worth of factory buildings.