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Growing Christchurch is a city on the move

Growing Christchurch is a city on the move

July 31, 2013

The rising influx of migrants shows Christchurch is a city on the move, University of Canterbury (UC) Professor Katie Pickles says.

Christchurch is welcoming 52 migrants a day as it rebuilds and, in recovering, the city will be a very different place from pre-earthquakes, she says.

"The events of 2010 and 2011 have forced an abrupt shift from Christchurch's English past in how the landscape appeared and now there is a change on who makes up its citizens.

"Christchurch has welcomed and hosted large numbers of international tourists and students since 1990. But this new pattern of migration is labour-driven and maybe these new migrants will stay in the city long-term.

"Labour has always been the key important factor when choosing migrants. This is why we sell New Zealand as God’s own and a utopic paradise. The current recruitment drive in the UK is selling Christchurch as a great place to live."

Statistics New Zealand says the Philippines was the top source country for migrants to Christchurch, followed by Britain. Numbers from China and India also increased. Most were here to work in the construction and trades sectors.

Professor Pickles says Christchurch is making a global leap into an Asia-Pacific reality.

"There is the hope that migration will lead to more births and boost the rolls in our schools and universities over the coming decades. Christchurch needs to engage with new multi-cultural times and let's hope that we can do so in a positive way. Now is the time for the city to think carefully about its identity."

The New Zealand employment market is fizzing and Christchurch saw advertised roles grow by 15 per cent year-on-year, Trade Me says.

There are currently 2500 jobs in the Canterbury region advertised on www.seek.co.nz. A total of 115 jobs, or five percent, of the roles are advertised in hospitality and tourism, with strong demand for chefs, bar managers and waiters / waitresses.

The region continues to see significant increase in student employment opportunity in Canterbury. Student Job Services say it had 5650 job vacancies list in the first seven months of this year, compared to 3579 listed for the same period in 2011.

ENDS

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