AWF Group, formerly known as Allied Work Force, issued a downbeat assessment of the Christchurch rebuild at today’s annual meeting. The message was that the rebuild has slowed in recent weeks and there was little sign of it gaining momentum over the next few months.
AWF reported that it has plenty of small demolition work but none of the major inner city projects, particularly the so called “anchor projects”, have started.
The 17 anchor projects are as follows;
1) The Earthquake Memorial
2) Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre
3) The Frame
4) Avon River Precinct
5) The Square
6) Retail Precinct
7) Convention Centre Precinct
8) Health Precinct
9) Justice and Emergency Services Precinct
10) Innovative Precinct
11) Performing Arts Precinct
12) Central Library
13) Residential Demonstration Project
14) Metro Sports Facility
16) Cricket Oval
17) Bus Interchange
These projects, which have an estimated total cost of $4.8 billion, are the catalyst for the Christchurch rebuild but nothing is happening. The Crown will provide $2.9 billion of this funding and the City Council $1.9 billion.
AWF believes that the Justice and Emergency Precinct, which will house the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire Service and Civil Defence, and the Health Precinct, which will be a hub for health education, research and innovation, should be under way.
AWF has been recruiting staff offshore and 100 English and Irish skilled trades people are due to arrive in Christchurch over the next few months. The company has a further 500 potential skilled immigrants lined up but they cannot obtain residency until AWL guarantees them full employment.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee does a lot of talking, but not a lot of action, as far as the Christchurch rebuild is concerned.
The message from today’s AWF meeting was that morale in Christchurch will dissipate rapidly unless Brownlee and the City Council start their “anchor projects” as soon as possible.