Call for agencies to stay in Christchurch CBD

6:20 am on 12 January 2012

The Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce says political pressure should be put on two government departments to return to central Christchurch.

The Inland Revenue Department and the Social Development Ministry, with a combined workforce of about 460 staff, will move to office space on the outskirts of the city by the end of this year.

The agencies have signed a nine-year lease on the Russley Road offices near Christchurch airport.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says the move won't have a big impact because the departments are offering back office services.

However, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says the move will have flow-on effects for the retail and hospitality sectors.

He says the sectors need certainty on the number of businesses likely to re-establish in the CBD.