Ever since a devastating earthquake struck the city in February 2010, local Christchurch authorities feared the worst. Experts at the ANZ national bank estimated that the disaster could drive away as much as 10 percent of the population. But just a couple of years on, the trend seems to finally be slowing. 600 residents migrated abroad in March 2012, which was a decrease from 1100 on the previous year.
This drop in migration levels is a strong indication that the city is starting to move on from the tragedy. According to the New Zealand Herald, Christchurch’s mayor Bob Parker even thinks the trend will go into “complete reversal” as the rebuilding continues and more jobs are created in the area. “We will, as a city, enter a phase some time in the next 12 months of actually starting on a curve of initially steady, then increasingly rapid growth as people move to this area.“
Many local residents seriously considered the move, following the 7.1 quake almost 2 years ago. Some British expats visited estate agents in Auckland and Sydney, searching for relocation possibilities. The psychological impact of such a disaster has been huge and especially when friends and family move out of the area, it can be difficult to stay put. With over 100,000 homes still needing to be repaired, and the aftershocks of the quake slowing the recovery, local residents believe their future is uncertain. However, New Zealanders are resilient and strong spirited people. They are learning to shrug their shoulders and look to a more positive future.
It’s clear to see why people are not put off by the natural disaster and want to remain in Christchurch. It is the largest city on the south island of New Zealand. There is a relaxed pace of life in the city, and the locals are very friendly towards British expats. The city has gone through some changes in recent years, as technology based companies have sprung up in the area. This has created plenty of local jobs and opportunities.
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