Construction jobs in Christchurch


The video is a recording of an online event that took place on 25 August 2013. All information was accurate at the time of recording, but may not be anymore.

Construction jobs in Christchurch (44:26)

Construction jobs in Christchurch, New Zealand

Hello and welcome to everyone who's tuned in from around the world. Welcome to Christchurch Infrastructure Jobs Live. It's 6 am on Monday morning here in Christchurch, New Zealand. And this event is to tell you a bit about what's happening here in Christchurch. The great job opportunities that are available here right now and also what steps that you can make to make it happen.

It'll take around about 40 minutes. So before I go any further, let me introduce myself. My name is Andy O'Dell. I'm a recruitment adviser for Downer. I've been in New Zealand for six years now and originally from the UK. To my far right here is, Duncan Gibb. He's the Executive General Manager for Scirt and originally from Australia and arrived in 2011.

To my right here is Matt Tucker. Matt's the project director for Downer and he's also from the U.K. He's been here 8 years. To my left is Jonas Paliston. He's one of our kiwis on the panel. Originally from Auckland, now lives in Christchurch. and to my far left is, oh, sorry, joining us from BG Contracting I should say.

And finally, Craig Walsh is representing Immigration Zealand. He's the relationship manager and he's from New Zealand as well. So let me just go on into how the event will work today. So before we all kicked off, we've been asking you your questions and our panel here is going to answer and discuss a number of these today.

We don't have time to answer all of them. We have had quite a few. But we will try and get through them as many as we can and any others we'll answer on the discussion panel, which you can see below. And you'll some of these responses already. So do continue to answer questions as we go through this.

We'll try and get through to a few of those towards the end of the panel. Let me just summarize the 5 main things we're going to cover off. So, firstly it's about the earthquakes and what they've meant to Christchurch as a city secondly, what's happening around what's being rebuilt; the third thing will be what skills that the employers here are really desperately in need of Then we'll talk about the visa options that are available for those who wish to come to Christchurch to assist with the rebuild.

And then finally, what living here in Christchurch is all about. Just to familiarize you with what you're looking at at the moment, you should be seeing myself and the panel in the screen at the top center of your computer screen. Just directly below is our discussion panel, so below and to the left.

And then below and to the right of that is a list of all the jobs that we currently have here at Christchurch within civil infrastructure that we can make room for people right and also just behind that is a little summary about the panel themselves. So if you want to know what each of us is about, you can just click on that and have a look see.

So, before we go any further and before the questions get started, here's a short clip that will give you an insight into what's happening here in Christchurch. Christchurch is on the rebuild and repairing the city's horizontal infrastructure, what we call roading and underground piping, is a massive job.

We need your help.

Our aim is to complete the rebuild of the horizontal infrastructure by the end of 2016.

How much needs to be done? Over 1,000 kilometers of roading, more than 700 kilometers of underground piping, foot bridges, sewer pump stations, they all need repair or replacement.

The damage that was experienced following September and then February pretty well damaged about 40% of all of the four networks that we're playing with.

This is a multi-billion dollar project that needs to get done quickly. In the next 5 years more than 40% of the Christchurch network of roads and underground pipes need to be fixed.

I've never seen anything like this in my life. The organization responsible for making this all happen is the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team, or SCIRT for short.

SCIRT is a purpose build organization has been created for one purpose, and that's to rebuild the horizontal infrastructure that was damaged during the Christchurch earthquakes.

SCIRT is funded by the Christchurch city council and the New Zealand government. The work is delivered by City Care, Downer, Fletcher Construction, Fullton-Hogan, and McConnell Dowell, plus members of the New Zealand Contractors Federation. All these construction companies are going hard at this work already, but they simply don't have enough workers.

There are plenty of jobs for the right people. And welcome back, and to any of those of you who've just joined us, I'm Andy Odell and this is Christchurch Infrastructure jobs life so that there was a little bit about the situation here in Christchurch. But as someone who has lived here for a number of years and also went through the earthquakes, let me bring in Jonas here.

So can you share some of your experiences that have gone on here since the earthquakes? Yeah, sure. I would say my experience is probably not as exciting as some.  I was in the city for one of them and one of the big ones and now just outside of the region for the other. And the one I was here for could be described as pretty scary and would say that from more recently though it seems as if really, really slowed down and I, touch wood, can't remember the last time we hid.

So that's good. But it did do significant damage to our city and I guess the second one was the major one in Christchurch and that created some significant damage. So there's about 650 kilometers of drainage, sewer, and storm water pipes have been damaged, 1.3 million square meters of roading network that needs to be repaired.

and about 70 k's of water mains. So there's plenty of rebuild work here to do for everybody Great. And part of that rebuild work is being undertaken by SCIRT so to, you know, I'll just bring in Duncan here. And, Duncan, could you share with us just what SCIRT's all about? So the word SCIRT is an acronym.

It stands for the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team. So we are a team that's been pulled together purely for the Construction of the infrastructure that we are talking about that's being damaged. We exist to create resilience infrastructure that gives people security and confidence in the future of Christchurch.

So we're all about really just getting the city back up and running. We're funded by government agencies. So there's the...and they're represented by Sara, which is the Earthquake Recovery Authority; by NZTA, which looks after all the roads in New Zealand; and by Christchurch City Council,which is the local government representative.

Our work is being delivered in an alliance agreement between those government authorities and five major contractors. So City Care Downer, Fletcher Construction. Fulton Hogan, and McConnell-Dowell. as well as those five head contractors, we've got 180 designers from 16 local consultancies and we're going to be delivering work utilizing contractors like BG, about 80 or so of those across the whole rebuild.

At the moment, we've got about 2,000 people working on this rebuild and we're still looking some special skills, which of those jobs that have been advertised. But this rebuild's Al Elwood program's worth about 2-2.5 billion dollars. Um, and that's out of a total rebuilding Christchurch which is estimated at about $40 billion.

So there's many other infrastructure and building projects that are following and in parallel with what we're doing. Great, thanks for that summary. What kind of time period do you expect this rebound to take, Duncan? so our program is to deliver all of the horizontal rebuild that we're doing by September 2016.

obviously, there's gonna be lots of other activity that will be following on past that with opportunities that will continue. Great, thanks. So as you've heard there, there's a fair amount going on, a big requirement for people. And obviously people watching today are going to be keen to hear a little bit about what's going on.

So I think it's a great time to bring in Matt Tucker from Downer. Matt, what's the state of the market here in Christchurch at the moment. It's extremely buoyant and about to get considerably more so. The Duncan's talked about the horizontal infrastructure. There's also right now, going full bore, about three and a half billion dollars of residential reconstruction.

And then on the horizon in the next six months or a year or so, things like a new stadium. The hospital needs to be reconstructed and a convention center. So there's something like ten or fifteen years of considerable reconstruction in Christchurch, and then if look a bit further ahead now the government's starting to talk fairly actively about Auckland and some big, big infrastructure projects in Auckland once Christchurch gets back on track.

So lots to look forward to. What do you feel that the larger construction companies are looking for in the way of skills? Most of the skills that you'd expect from typical large, major projects: project managers, project engineers, superintendent, supervisors, foremen, an of course, design engineers, geotechnical engineers.

Currently a lot of the work that we're doing is underground in the infrastructure sector so machine operators and skilled trade are very much in demand. Great. And how about yourself, from the small to midsize company side of things. Is it the same skill set you're looking for? Yeah, it is actually.

It's probably different I think, the small to medium-size business can offer the same sort of things as overseas would with the big guys, probably quite different and perhaps a little bit more personal in some ways, but I think the other big things that we're all looking for is to deliver this work safely That's certainly not compromised through any businesses and authorities that are involved with the rebuilds.

So, we're looking for people I guess that can come into our teams and if you like consolidate or strengthen them. I think Yes, for us, the sort of the rapid growth has probably slowed a bit. Now, we just want to add the specific skill set that we... we perhaps need to deliver the projects so it's probably looking for people that can come in and embrace their lifestyle, also embrace the way we do things in New Zealand, but also bring in new ideas also I think to ultimately deliver a cost-effective solution to the people of Canterbury ultimately.

Great, thanks for that. So if you're at the jobs board below at the moment and you're wondering, "Oh, I feel that I've got something to offer to the Christchurch rebuild but, don't seem to fit in any of the niches that are currently being advertised, then don't worry about that, you'll see there that there are some logos down beside the jobs being advertised and they'll give you some contact information on how to approach those companies directly, we can't there'll be an outcome for you but often it can happen that you may be just the person that they could be looking for.

So, you can obviously complete some e-mails or complete some forms there that will enable you to contact them directly. So, just I suppose the real core of this is if you were to gain employment in New Zealand is about what visa that you would actually be able to come over here and use and how you would be able to live work here.

So, it would be great time to bring in Craig. So Craig, would you like to... us a summary of the situation regarding visas for those arriving from overseas. Sure. Since the earthquakes three years now. The rebuild of Canterbury has been a major initiative for the government and also for Immigration New Zealand right behind supporting the region to get on with that rebuild.

And as part of the work we're doing, we're in a partnership with SCIRT And by from a government level, combining with the private enterprise. So this is just one of the initiatives that we doing to try and attract more migrant... New Zealand, which is part of Immigration of New Zealand's role. It's not just issuing visas.

It's to attract more people here that have the right skills that are required. So of course the number one priority is jobs for New Zealanders, but just given the scale of the rebuild, it's apparent that there just aren't going to be enough skilled New us for the work. So, we certainly encourage those with the right skills to apply for Visa's to come and work here.

And on the job offers, which will hopefully will come your way, as a result of this. So, in terms of Visa's we have some different Visa options seen that we have a Canterbury skill shortage list that is just one of three shortage lists that we have. Pretty much most of the jobs that are being promoted here today are on the Canterbury skilled shortage list, so what that effectively means is that it can make the process a little bit more straightforward if you are applying for a work visa.

we also expect the rebuild, as has been mentioned, to take many years, so the visa itself could be issued for that same length of time, dependent on the your job offer that you have, so the visa would normally come inside with the duration of the job offer so as I said before skilled people to come here, in fact, we need them, so if you feel that you have the right attributes then you may meet the is a criteria.

We certainly encourage you to proceed down that pathway. Okay, thanks for that. Just regarding that question so common what I hear as a recruiter with a visa first job first question. What's the answer to that? Well, generally you need a job offer first, so if you don't have a job it's no basis upon which to apply for a visa, so again with being here today and through the opportunities on the website you should contact employers, talk to employers about what opportunities may be available, and then if you do a job offer, you would then use that job offer to apply for the visa.

So what are the visa options that are available to people? Well, a work visa the more straightforward option and there are those based on the skill shortage list. Most of the larger companies that are involved with SCIRT also accredited employers with Immigration New Zealand. What that means is people can apply for what's called a work to residence visa.

So they may be eligible for residence after being here in New Zealand for two years, and that can also make the process a little bit more straightforward for their visa as well, but there are other so visas and often it comes down to how long the job is for and also who the company is and what the actual skill set of it... Also, once they've been here they may want to consider applying for residence, and therefore could apply for residence to stay on in New Zealand rather than just remaining on a temporary work visa.

So just in the time scale of things, like how long does it take a work visa to be processed at the moment? That can vary from office to office, Ending whereabouts in the world you were applying. But, as a general guide, probably around about 3 weeks if the application was complete and there were no issues with the application.

by that I mean that people also would generally have to provide medical checks and police certificates with their application.

So they'd need to do that up front.


And then once they put their application in, that's when the three weeks would start? Is that what you said?

Yeah, that's right. Yeah. But, as I say, if there was some medical issue that needed to be looked into further, that may delay the processing time. But as a general guide, around about the three to four week for a work visa.

And where should people go to review this immigration perspective? Is there a resource online?

Yes, our website, Immigration New Zealand website has all the processes to follow and all the application forms can be downloaded off the website, and we have offices around the world to lodge your application.

Well, thanks very much for that, Craig. I think just to summarize then, around that visa side of things, there's three key points, is that Immigration New Zealand is very supportive of getting the right skills out to New Zealand. So they're being supportive to industry here and with things like this I think really driving it forward that there will be assistance to people who are making applications if they've got the right skills set and you've got that job offer, then they'll help you any way they can.

Also good to know that there are short- and long-term visa options if you're looking at watching this and thinking, oh New Zealand sounds good for you. Then that could be an option for you. But, also, many of us have come out on a residency basis and are now permanent residents of New Zealand. I think that's also a good option.

And, finally, there are a number of different visa options, so If you don't immediately see the niche that might fit for you, do visit that museum of immigration website and have a look on there and see if there's anything that might fit your personal situation. So I think we'll now, you know, we've talked about the work here, we've talked about getting here, how about Christchurch itself.

So let's have a short clip about living here in Christchurch. There seems to be a much better work life balance than what we found in the US. People enjoy having a life outside of the office too. We have found that the people are very friendly here. They're very welcoming. That, coupled with being in one of the most beautiful corners of the world.

One of the reasons we as a family love it in New Zealand is just the lifestyle, the quality of life. We feel the schools here try and produce a more well-rounded child. We've only touched on a fraction of the scenery and traveled here since we've lived here, and it's breathtaking. People are friendly.

To be honest with you at first, we almost thought something was up. Why were these people being so friendly to us when we first arrived? And it's just people's nature. It's just the sort of Kiwi way.

The summer was so like interesting just because there was sunshine. That was a major bonus, and then the fact that there was so much going on as well, a whole calendar of events, so many outdoor festivals and in Hagley park. Yeah, a bit of sunshine so good barbecues, good wine, what's not to like.

It's a really, really good outdoors way of life over here in New Zealand. Lots and lots of sports organized in and around Christchurch that I've been involved with, and as a family we're really enjoying the ability to get out on the hills and take the kids out into the environment and have a good look around.

In other countries, you might have to drive for five days to see one cool thing, whereas in New Zealand you can drive for one day and see five cool things. And welcome back. I hope that gave you a little idea of living in and around Christchurch, but from a more personal perspective, let's, I suppose, ask the panel, because we all live here but, Jonas, what do you say to the question, what's it like actually living in Christchurch?

Well, I think it's good. I guess the [xx] is still a functioning city, and it's just a little bit different than it was a couple of years ago, so I lived here for about two and a half years pre-earthquake. So my time here's spent about 50/50. But going on now, especially with the CBD perhaps just starting to regenerate.

There's a heap of new things to do around eating out, bars, and restaurants, and the like, that you read the paper or online you're seeing every week that there's a new bar or restaurant that you can go and have a look at. So that's I'd say is really, really exciting. The other thing is that all of the, you know, activities and recreation activities that existed pre-earthquake, they're all still going fine out in the region.

So you can still go skiing or snowboarding or whatever takes your fancy in the region. So, yeah, it's a very, very exciting time I guess it's sort of for all of us, really exploring the city again. And definitely there's a real good buzz around town too, it runs into it, and I think when you just look around and you see the amount of construction that's happening and which is even though the infrastructure networks are just not the most exciting things, there's still the buildings there that are going up fast as well, so yeah, an exciting time to be a part of the city, and plenty to do.

Yeah, I think from my point of view, I have to agree on that kind of buzz. Although, Christ Church, you know, it's change forever since when we were here pre-earthquake, as well, and, you know, it was a nice easy stroll into the city center, and everything was there, but the change has actually brought around a lot of excitement, a lot of smaller, kind of little boutique.

People are making the best of it, really, and they've actually become quite iconic, and also a lot of new arrivals, people who've come from overseas already and are making the place pretty interesting. There's a real good mix of culture is here, I think more so certainly than there was before. That's what I'm finding, anyway.


Fantastic place to bring up a young family. We've five-year-old have been skiing with us a couple of times this year already. That's about an hour away from town. Went mountain biking with the kids yesterday. Lots of camping all around island in New Zealand is absolutely fantastic. You know, within an hour or two you can be off in the middle of nowhere having little camping holidays.

Really lovely place to live.

So, how about that, we're getting a bit of a feel for the outdoor aspect. Duncan, what are your thoughts on living here?

What you find when you come here is that there's a lot of people who are into getting into the outdoors, whether it's tramping or bushwalking as we call it in Aussie, or whether it's running, or kayaking, or, you know, everyone just gets out and enjoys the climate. The climate's really good. The summers are quite mild and temperate, and the winters they vary a bit, you know.

But generally, it's a really good climate, to get out and about in.

I think we'd not be 100 percent honest if we didn't say there was some challenges around, a life in a city that's been effected by an earthquake. I think I've certainly observed as a recruiter bringing people over, that there are some challenges around accommodation and the like, but we see companies assisting people who are arriving to overcome those challenges.

so I suppose. I've got a note here just saying traffic. It depends on where you live in the world, I suppose. In the U.K. I still think the traffic is in comparison In comparison it's amazing because, you know, you can get across the city in a half an hour. [xx] you manage to leave by road in the UK in half an hour.

so I think when you look at those side of things is very much the view. But, compared to what it was, yes, traffic here is a lot heavier. There's a lot of road works on the roads, obviously, that we're heavily involved in. but, yeah, generally speaking I think it's all coming together. So I suppose talking in a round about just a long bit from Christchurch, but what support that new arrivals get?

I'm a recruitment adviser. downer, so I'm regularly at the airport and collecting our new arrivals that we're bringing in from overseas, and I see lots of people of my colleagues, in fact, doing the same thing, often from the same flight because there's a regular that comes in from Singapore each morning.

So the part of the culture, I think here, of bringing people over and the support they get from an employer is quite individual, so there isn't one of one size that fits all for every company or every employer who can to do exactly the same thing. But the one thing is that there is support, so it's not a case of you being offered a job, going through the visa process, and then arriving on a plane and basically you're on your own.

I think pretty much every company is involved in meeting, greeting, helping their staff find their [xx], and that could in one of many ways. It could be a way of assisting with accommodation initially or for the long-term depending on what their situation is. It could and offering assistance in getting their goods from overseas, so maybe shipping assistance or assistance with the cost of travel, it could really depend on individuals.

It could be assisting with childcare or each unique situation [xx] people tend to come with. So, it's very much I think a case of, if you do get a job here and you're looking for some support, is to ask your employer what support they offer and so let them know what challenges you're gonna face in coming out to New Zealand so that those can be, you know, overcome and met.

There's a lot of support for newcomers here anyway. SCIRT itself has had over 150 new employees from overseas, and they've established a newcomers networking event which is quite regular. And even for those outside of SCIRT there are regular meetups for new arrivals and, especially families and the like, who need or value that sort of support.

So there's a lot of events and ideas on making sure people feel connected. I think that's the other challenge that can sometimes happen to us. Why is that? Brings on challenges, so for those of us who, I suppose I'm looking to the left, but should be looking to the right, for those of us who have arrived from overseas, what are the biggest challenges that you find you migrants face, guys.

What have you faced? Well, having come from the U.K., it's obviously a considerable distance from family friends haven't been through that, as I say, and come here, one of my questions I always ask prospective migrants is particular when they've begun to get serious about coming here is have you talked to your families.

You need to have a discussion sooner rather than later with your parents or whoever you're close to. about your plans and just see how it goes then because I know we did that and we got two quite different reactions from both our sets of parents.

Same with us. Duncan what and faced any challenges yourself, especially coming to an earthquake-damaged city on its own? Probably the issue that we found. I came from Queensland. It was quite warm. So coming here, even though I said before it was quite temperate, I think you get used to it. But the first winter was fairly cold, in my view.

So, you know, some of the housing is not as it is in the UK where there's central heating and all that sort of carry on. Some of the houses are reasonably cold, so you need to get your heating sorted out. but generally I've found it relatively simple.


Other than the housing. I think the housing has certainly, having come from the UK and talking to people who arrive, is certainly. Well, not the housing, but the heating. You know, there's a different way of doing things in New Zealand. The energy is very expensive. The houses are generally heated by the room rather than, you know, heating the entire house as I was familiar with in the UK.

So it takes a bit of getting used to. And I think that's just a bit of a mindset change that, yeah, you're not going to see central heating in every house.

But, you can quite proactively make the situation more straightforward and easier for yourself. You know, we actively threw ourselves into local groups and joined local social groups when we got here to meet people. And one of the things that really struck me is that we've never had so many offers to come to barbecues and dinners and social functions as we did when we lived in the UK.

The Kiwis are so, so friendly, and if you make just the slightest effort they're absolutely welcoming.

That's true. I think finally was the family and friends thing. Technology is now great. You're watching this from who knows where in the world. It's like we're sitting, talking to each other. With similar technology available now for family and friends, I think Skype based on certainly make that distance a lot closer, so it's something to bear in mind.

So, challenge wise I think we've covered off a few of those but around the support for people for when you do get here. Craig, could you run through a little bit about that? Sure. There are a variety of support tools or mechanisms available and some of those are online. Some of those are on here in Christchurch as well.

So some of those just to cover those. Information about living and working in New Zealand, there is what we call the New Zealand Now website. That is run by Immigration New Zealand but there is a lot of information on there that will help give you information about coming to live and work in New Zealand what it's like here.

There are little videos on there from people who've already been here telling you what it's like. Once you've decided to move, perhaps, there is another site called New Zealand ready that's an online planning tool which will just help give you information and tips as to the types of things you may need to take into account when you're making a move here to New Zealand.

We also have a settlement support network throughout New Zealand and here in Christchurch that's very proactive that's run through the chamber of commerce here in Christchurch. Again, they have a website which has a lot of information on there. It covers very simple stuff from how do I get a driver's license right through to some of the bigger issues that you need to contend with with moving to New Zealand and also while you're here.

So that information is on their website, but at the same time they do run events and functions for newcomers here in Christchurch once you're actually here. On our website, the immigration New Zealand website, there's a lot of information. There are other links off that. One of the brochures and leaflets that we have on there, for example, is working in the construction sector in New Zealand.

Just gives a bit more information about things to take into account when coming work in the industry here, and I don't expect you to write all of these down, so we'll have those links on the website a little bit later on. And the other thing I just meant to say before about visas is another question we often get asked, too, about the family coming here.

If you are bringing your spouse, your partner, and perhaps your children. If you're being issued a work visa for six months or longer, your spouse or partner could also be issued a work visa for the same duration as yours. And if you've got school-age children they are eligible for a student visa and wouldn't have to pay the international fees.

It would just be the same. Essentially the domestic fee that any New Zealand child would pay when going to school. So, yes, as I said, a lot of those resources are available and the links to those will be on the discussion thread below.

Thanks very much, Craig. So, that has kind of summarized a lot of the initial questions we had. I think while we've been talking there seems to have been a number of additional questions come through. So, I'll just pick up a few of those and pitch them now, I think Matt's one for you. Neil Scarborough asks, what's the culture and lifestyle for us in Church like?

I think we've probably touched upon that to a fair I agree already. I mean, I would summarize it as quite a young, vibrant-feeling city. Jonas [sp?] talked about the new bars and new restaurants and the forever seems to be something of me and Ducan talked in some details as well about the outdoor lifestyle which is really really accessible from here in Christchurch [sp?].

That's great, okay it's pretty laid back. I think the lifestyle and culture here is what you wanna make of it. There's always something going on. So if someone who likes to get out there and get involved it will fit quite well for you I think. For you, Jonas, there's a question Kevin asking, so what are employers looking for in an overseas recruit.

Well, I think you touched on it perhaps a little earlier, but people that can come in and do the job, I think, and we're looking for people that have some skills that perhaps we have exhausted bolstered in New Zealand. Hence, why we're looking overseas. But, look in people that can come and add new ideas, and like you said, add to the value of the reboot.

Yep, and we'd agree, I think, from our point of view that we want people who are coming to New Zealand and are committed. We want people who know that there's going to be some challenges that they're going to face simply because it's a new country, but also who have thought about things in advance and really want to make a good go of it.

Because, you know, that's really what this city needs.

To me, it's about attitude. If you're here, and you're prepared to come across and start a new life and get stuck into something really exciting. And let's face it, rebuilding a city is pretty damn exciting. It doesn't happen very often. So, if you've got that drive, you want to make a new start, and take the most of every opportunity.

That's the sort of person that we're looking for.

Thanks, guys. A question from Paul asks, will I [xx] be able to watch a video of this event at a later day. The [xx] is [xx] we're going to be getting this put into a format that's going to be have a long line, and there will be some links in the discussion thread before we do close this off in just over a week's time.

As to where that will be located So, yep, you'll be able to catch this at a later date. No problem. So, I've also got a question for you, Craig. This is from Neil Harris. says he's looked on the school shortage list for an excavator operator and it's not listed, but it's advertised it will work here as a requirement.

Is he able to get a visa not on the skill shortage list? Yes, that's still possible. As we touched on before there are different visa options that people can apply under. The fact that a job isn't on the shortage list doesn't mean to say that you can't apply. It's just that there could be a different Visa option.

It may mean that the employer has to provide a bit more information to immigration New Zealand or possibly if it's an accredited employer that may be an option as well. And there's the Canterbury skill shortage list. as well.

Yes, exactly. But, if it's on none of the lists, again, there is still an option. It just is a different visa type, or a different visa option that the person can apply under, and there's more information needed. The process for each visa is spelled out fairly clearly on our website. So, if people follow the process it should be reasonably straight forward.

We're also not saying that everybody's eligible for a visa, that we encourage people to check their eligibility first because it's not necessarily, I mean everybody will get a visa if they apply, so we encourage people to work out their eligibility before they leap in and lodge an application. Because you may need a few documents in support of your application before you can submit it.

Okay. So, well, we'll just carry on another for you then Craig. If someone is over 55 years of age, which is the cutoff for one of the visa types and they have the skills in demand, are they still gonna be in with the chance of coming over to New Zealand? Yes, they can. There is actually no age limit for a work visa, but there are age limits for example for applying for a visa with an accredited employer.

If they are applying under the accredited employer option, or the work-to-residence visa option as it's called, there is an age limit on that. 55 is the maximum. Yes, 55 is the maximum age for someone applying for residence under the skilled or migrant category. but in terms of the work visa, under the general work visa requirements, there is no age limit.

Provided you have the skills and the qualifications that would match the job. You could certainly be eligible for work Visa. Thanks, Greg. A question from Sarah, and this looks like it's one for you, Matt. It says, what are some of the big projects currently going on here in Christ Church? So, of course there's what we're doing, Sarah, There's the infrastructure rebuild, which is give or take a couple billion dollars.

There's a reconstruction and repair to. to the residential housing here in Christchurch, which is three and a half billion dollars. And coming up soon on the horizon where there's lots planning now for a new stadium. The stadium needs to be rebuilt. The hospital needs to be reconfigured and rebuilt and there's a very large convention center as well in the next year or so to undertake construction.

There's also education rebuild Well, there's the whole program of replacing and repairing schools that were damaged across the city. There's a new justice department precinct that needs to be built. there's a whole lot of private developments going on. It's a considerable amount of work for the next ten or fifteen years, I'd suggest.

As Duncan said earlier on, probably forty billion dollars needs to be invested in reconstructive [xx]. I think which ever way you cut it that's a significant amount of work which is going to take a period of time and just to reiterate as well its around the skirt aspect of the work here is running through until about 2016 So after 2016 I think people could reasonably expect that there will be other opportunities if that's what they want to have a look at, but the SCIRT work does have a finite period.

But, I'm up to the end of play 2016.

Another question for you Duncan, from Ali, he asks, what hours are a standard working day in New Zealand? How hard do we work them?

A standard working day? A lot of the construction crews are on-the-go at 7:00 and finishing at 5:00. In the summer it might be a bit longer, 'cause just as in the Northern hemisphere, when you get further North, summer days are longer, winter days are shorter. So, it does vary a bit. Some of us like myself might be a bit of a workaholic.

I might put in 10 or 11 hours a day, but I don't work a weekend. Some of the crews work a Saturday, but generally there's a pretty good balance between work and life. And as we were talking about before, just getting in the outdoors is very important to the people here, the cultures really about that balance so you're not gonna come here and slave your guts out.

It's a good balanced lifestyle.

I think I've noticed that with that from creating a lot of questions that get asked of me is that if we're offering a wage roll at an hourly rate, people are saying well how many hours do they get. From some countries, 70 hours isn't unusual. You know maybe even more. Here I'd say we generally don't work those long hours.

There's a much higher focus on quality rather than quantity and also focus on safety, so both of those factors come into play on those longer hours. So we try and pull those back. So you can expect to average between be 5 to 50 hours I'd say on just a standard across a year. And like you said in summer, you'd probably be doing a bit more, and very seldom do people work Sundays.

to the industry. It does happen. You know, emergency works in the light, just as a rule. Unless you're in retail. that's pretty much it. Another question from Hugh for you Craig. It says I'm an Australian do I need a visa to work in Christchurch No, I don't otherwise think. If you're an Australian citizen or resident, no you don't.

You can come across on your passport that you've got, and you'll be able to work here without the need for any other visa.

Great so I'll have that help. So I think that's all we've got time for today. Firstly, I'd like to just summarize really on what we've covered. So those five aspects that we talked about earlier, the earthquakes that happened here in Christchurch, you know, what the situation is here right now. Also, I hope you feel you now have got a handle on what's actually being rebuilt, so we're responsible for that horizontal infrastructure, the roads, the trains, and following quickly behind us is all of the vertical stuff.

So the actual building is going upright. The skills that we need. So I'll just cover those off again. Civil engineering based roles is what we're involved with at the moment, so that's really what our focus is about and what those jobs that are down there on the bottom right of this we'll be showing you.

So, drained layers, machine operators, or excavator operators, project engineers, project managers contract managers, quantity surveyors, the whole kind of field of civil engineering has some opportunity at the moment. With regards to the visa options, Craig has run through what they are in a rough sense but there's far too much there to kinda summarize in a short conversation.

So, do have a look on the New Zealand immigration website. There's a number of calculators and assistants on there to try and find out what is the best route for you. And finally what life in Christchurch here is like. You know, I've been here six years. There's been ups and downs you could say, but, I certainly feel it's the place for us and we won't be going anywhere in a hurry.

So, really, I want to say thank you very much to the panel for joining us here in Christchurch this morning. It looks like it's gonna be a stunning winter's day here in Christchurch. We're about to head off to work, and we really hope that you'll be doing the same here in Christchurch, New Zealand, soon.

So, thanks very much and goodbye. 

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.

Help us improve New Zealand Now

Your feedback is very important in helping us improve the New Zealand Now website. Please don’t include any personal or financial information.