Aftershocks stalling Canterbury rebuild

8:34 am on 28 June 2011

Continuing aftershocks in Canterbury are dampening expectations the construction industry will lead the economic recovery - although an analyst believes it is just a matter of time.

Fletcher Building chief executive Jonathan Ling warned on Monday a strong rise in forecast earnings for the company was largely dependent on reconstruction work beginning.

Fletcher has been appointed as project manager of the Canterbury rebuilding effort, but says work cannot start until the aftershocks end.

Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says it is not just Fletcher that is frustrated.

He believes 100 or more building companies and sub-contractors are waiting for work when the major re-build begins.

Forsyth Barr head of research Rob Mercer says the building sector has not seen the activity that many expected after the quakes in September last year and February.

Mr Mercer believes it will be 2013 before a major lift in building work in Christchurch and elsewhere around the country starts to flow through to corporate earnings.

He says it will take six months or so for insurance companies and Christchurch home owners to resolve disputes, and agree the payout amounts to allow rebuilding to start.