A survey on Christchurch's new central city plan shows confidence in the area is high.
The results show 99 per cent of Christchurch business people, 95 per cent of residents and 88 per cent of New Zealanders know of the plan and 74 per cent of Christchurch business people, 56 per cent of residents and 52 per cent of New Zealanders support it.
Opposition is low with 7 per cent of Christchurch business people, 13 per cent of residents and 17 per cent of New Zealanders saying they oppose the plan.
Invest Christchurch released the results but whether the support for the plan will result in companies returning to the central business district is yet to be tested.
Simon Challies, managing director of Ryman Healthcare, which has its headquarters in Christchurch, said staff had left Clarendon Towers one block from The Square and now all 70 worked at Burnside's Russley Rd near the airport.
Ryman was so satisfied with its new location that it was having a purpose-built building developed there, with a full gym, cafe and parking for many staff on-site, Challies said.
Other businesses might also remain in suburban locations, he predicted.
"I think a lot of people are committed on leases which means they don't have the option of moving back into town, in some cases they have five-year leases."