Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Economic Development
22 February 2015
Economic recovery strong in Canterbury
The Canterbury economy is continuing to strengthen and its economic infrastructure continuing to develop as the region positions itself for long-term growth post the earthquake rebuild.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says Canterbury currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.9 per cent, compared with 5.3 per cent nationally. Since December 2011, employment in Canterbury has increased by 40,500 (14.1 per cent) compared with national growth of 8.1 per cent.
“As we move through the peak of the rebuild stage, the Government and the region are working to develop the long-term infrastructure that will sustain and grow the region into the future.”
“Initiatives progressing this year include the new Science and Engineering facilities at the University of Canterbury, the completion of some of the key private sector building projects in the Innovation Precinct, and the Opening of the new ICT Graduate School.
These come on top of the opening of the new Government-funded vocational training facilities at CPIT and the opening of the long-awaited ‘FoodSouth’ pilot facility in Christchurch.
“There is much more to come – including the development of the Lincoln Hub which will become a magnet for research and development activity in the primary industries, in much the same way we are seeing the Innovation Precinct become for the ICT Sector.
“Canterbury is already looking well beyond the post-earthquake rebuild. Water storage is being developed, broadband fibre is being laid, wireless broadband is being expanded, and roading links are being improved,” Mr Joyce says. “The development of infrastructure is creating strong job prospects for civil, geotechnical and structural engineers.”
“We’re also excited about the progress of the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy which was released late last year by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum. The Strategy identifies ways to attract, upskill and maintain skilled workers.” Mr Joyce says.
“The fact that the region’s 11 local authorities, local iwi, the Canterbury Development Corporation, the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce and the Committee for Canterbury Trust are all working together and pulling in the same direction shows just how committed everyone in the region is to sustainable long-term growth.”
“That unity of purpose will be key to ensuring that Canterbury lifts itself economically far beyond where it was before the quakes occurred.”
“I know the positive attitude of the people in this region will ensure Canterbury’s economy continues to strengthen. The new Canterbury is a diverse, resilient and economically vibrant place and I believe it will only get become more dynamic over time.”