Christchurch confident in luring back migrants
Leaders in Christchurch have been encouraged by a drop in the number of people leaving the city after last year’s devastating earthquake. The number of those emigrating to search for new opportunities abroad is half what it was a year ago, and Mayor Bob Parker believes the trend will soon start to reverse as the rebuild creates economic opportunities.
More than a thousand residents fled the city in March last year after the earthquake struck on February 22, killing 185 people. This March, however, only 600 citizens chose to leave, not far from the March 2010 figures of 500.
As Christchurch begins to rebuild its homes and streets, there will be at least 10 years of intense activity, according to the mayor. He believes such growth will encourage those who have left to return and attract new people with a range of skills and expertise.
Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, Mayor Parker said that seeing is believing, and that as the blueprints start to take shape, a new confidence will be introduced to Christchurch. He added that current residents and those who have already moved abroad are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mayor Parker did concede, however, that work still needs to be done for the people who continue to wait for insurance payouts following the disaster.
Although New Zealand has a net loss of 3,400 migrants in the last year, it saw a gain of 100 last month, only the second seen since the quake.
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