Press Release – Grow Wellington
February 22nd will mark the second anniversary of the devastating Canterbury earthquake. Two years on and the Canterbury rebuild has now begun to gain serious momentum. Grow Wellington, working with a number of private and public enterprises, is supporting an initiative that examines the collaboration and new business opportunities that the rebuild presents for Wellington companies. WellCan will take place on the 4th of March and will feature a number of speakers, including Wellington businesses already working in the region and Canterbury businesses looking for new collaborations, products, services and manpower.
“The WellCan Forum, and other initiatives like it, offer the opportunity to ensure that the legacy of the Canterbury quakes can also be the new collaborations, innovations and enterprises that have and will emerge in its wake.”
Says Grow Wellington CEO, Gerard Quinn.
“As the Wellington regional economic development agency, it is our responsibility to encourage and facilitate this, particularly as it benefits both Canterbury and Wellington business”.
The latest estimates put the total cost of the rebuild at around 30billion NZD. While construction will always be the major component of the recovery the rebuild extends well beyond just that. There are significant design, infrastructure, social and service-based needs that have to be met by businesses not only to restore Canterbury but to capitalise on the opportunity to create a truly modern and sustainable South Pacific city.
What the figure also reveals is that the Canterbury rebuild is a project that requires skills, resources and labour from outside the region itself. Wellington businesses, with their strengths in design, services, and digital innovation not to mention the physical proximity to the South Island, are ideally placed to meet this demand.
These companies include those like Catalyst IT, a specialist in open source software that merged with Christchurch open source software company Egressive in a move that has bought substantial benefits to both companies. Or, law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watt’s post-quake relationship with Christchurch firm Lane Neave that has given the latter additional capacity, particularly in property and construction law.
While these Wellington companies and others are already working on rebuild projects, there is a need for many more. The WellCan forum aims to assist local businesses to meet this need and be part of the largest economic project ever undertaken in New Zealand.
The forum will be opened by Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and will feature Christchurch businesses and officials as well as some of the Wellington businesses already engaged with the rebuild. It is free to attend and businesses and individuals will need to register here.