New Zealand Still Counting the Costs of the Quakes
07 September 2011
The New Zealand government is government is forecasting a record budget deficit for this year due to the cost of rebuilding Christchurch following the deadliest earthquakes in 80 years. The NZ$15 billion bill for rebuilding assumed in May's budget was already 8% of GDP, and is set to increase as the full extent of the damage becomes known. One effect of the quake is that it has doubled the states estimated insurance liability to NZ$7.1 billion.
Around 6,000 homes in Christchurch are situated on land which is so unstable they cannot be rebuilt, and more condemnations could follow as 10,000 properties are yet to be assessed. About 30,000 homes have damage costing in excess of NZ$100,000, and around 388,000 claims have been lodged with the Earthquake Commission.
Christchurch had some of the tallest towers, hotels and Heritage properties in New Zealand which made it very attractive to tourists, but many of these are being partially or totally demolished.
It’s been just over a year since the first in a series of earthquakes in Christchurch, quakes which are estimated to have cost the nation as much as NZ$20 billion. Last September the city was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake, followed by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in February this year.