Authorities welcome skilled staff from UK and Ireland to help rebuild earthquake-hit city

Authorities in the earthquake-hit city of Christchurch in New Zealand have said they will welcome applicants from the UK and Ireland to help the rebuilding effort.

Local recruiters estimate that the region of New Zealand could need up to 1,500 construction professionals, with authorities adding that there is a particular need for QSs, estimators, civil and structural engineers.

The city of Christchurch, which was home to 376,700 people before the disaster, is to be almost completely rebuilt.

Earlier this year John Keys, prime minister of New Zealand, said the country would need up to 12,500 construction workers just to rebuild homes in the region.

The recruitment drive comes as UK specialist McGee revealed it will play a key role in the rebuilding of the region.

The firm is sending a team of demolition specialists and is readying a 125-tonne piece of heavy-duty demolition equipment for the 10-week sea journey to New Zealand.

McGee is partnering with a local demolition contractor to work on the pulling down of up to 1,200 damaged buildings.

A delegation from McGee, including director Michael McGee, returned from talks with local firms in the country last week.

A spokesperson for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority said: “Modelling has shown a need for highly skilled workers and we welcome applications from the UK and Ireland.”

The rebuilding of Christchurch includes replacing 300km of sewers, 150km of water supply and 30km of road.