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Cost of Christchurch rebuild balloons by $10b

Published: 1:02PM Sunday April 28, 2013 Source: ONE News

The estimated cost of the Christchurch rebuild has risen by $10 billion, the Government has revealed today.

At a conference in Hamner Springs, Prime Minister John Key released new figures which reflect the extent of the challenge in rebuilding the quake-damaged city.

Treasury has revised the estimated cost of the rebuild from $30 billion in December's half-year fiscal update to $40 billion. This will appear in the next Budget.

"The estimate increases are due in many cases to more precise information becoming available about what the actual costs are across a range of areas, from housing and social investment to infrastructure and commercial development," Key said.

He said the latest estimate includes capital costs incurred by entities, such as commercial entities, as well as the Crown.

"The Budget will also show that the estimated net fiscal cost of the earthquakes to the Crown will rise from around $13 billion at the half-year fiscal update last December, to around $15 billion."

Key says the Christchurch rebuild was the "largest and most complex single economic project in New Zealand history", which meant it was difficult to get an exact estimated cost immediately.

He said the cost estimates "will continue to be updated from time to time, but they do not change the Government's commitment to Christchurch and Canterbury".

"We will do what it takes to rebuild our second largest city, and that commitment will be unwavering."

The Prime Minister says despite the cost increasing, the Government remains on track to a surplus in 2014/2015.

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