Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Quake fails to shake Christchurch business

Businesses have coped with fallen shelves and damaged goods, but the wider business infrastructure of Christchurch is all up and running after yesterday's quake. Twitter photo / Matthew Walker
Businesses have coped with fallen shelves and damaged goods, but the wider business infrastructure of Christchurch is all up and running after yesterday's quake. Twitter photo / Matthew Walker

It seems to be business as usual in Christchurch following yesterday's 5.7 magnitude earthquake.

The telecommunications system was mostly unaffected with Chorus and Vodafone reporting no network outages. Spark reported that 34 of its mobile sites were hit by congestion as people tried to get in touch with family and friends but this was fixed within a few hours.

A spokesperson for Chorus said it was continuing to monitor its network but things were running smoothly.

"All is running as normal. It takes quite a lot to disrupt the fixed line network, and we didn't have any issues yesterday. We had to do some checks, both of the network and of our buildings to make sure all was OK, but everything was fine," he said.

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Christchurch airport also appeared to be unaffected with communications manager Yvonne Densem saying no flights had been delayed.

"We have installed on the airfields very highly specialised equipment which tells us what it is on the site so even though it was a 5.7 earthquake, people feel it differently in different parts of the city," she said. "Our equipment can tell us exactly what it is where we are and then we can evaluate what we might need to do, and this time we didn't need to do anything."

Grant Williamson, director of brokerage firm Hamilton Hindin Greene, said it was unlikely the earthquake would affect business confidence in the city, saying Christchurch residents were pretty resilient.

It's an old cliche but Christchurch people are pretty resilient when it comes to earthquakes
Grant Williamson, director of brokerage firm Hamilton Hindin Greene

"Overall it doesn't really affect business," Williamson said. "Obviously it was Valentines Day and a number of the malls had to close so there would be some effect there for retailers but that's mostly a short term thing," he said.

"It's an old cliche but Christchurch people are pretty resilient when it comes to earthquakes - we're pretty much used to them now and I don't think it really dents business confidence at all, in fact it could have a little bit of the opposite effect in that it does mean that people ensure Christchurch businesses are supported."

Williamson said property was one area that may be affected with business people looking to acquire property in Christchurch continually thinking twice about it. He said most of the property owners had already walked away following the first earthquakes. Overall however, business appeared to be mostly unaffected.

"There will be a few EQC claims but nothing significant, not that I've heard of anyway," he said. "It's just part of living in Christchurch."

- NZ Herald

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