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Bosses from two of New Zealand's largest building and contracting firms held talks yesterday to discuss the effect of Saturday's big quake.

Fletcher Building chiefs examined opportunities from the damage and the massive cleanup as did managers of Australasian civil contractor Fulton Hogan, which has its headquarters in Christchurch.

Fulton Hogan chief Bill Perry said his firm had more than 100 staff on emergency traffic management. Other teams were working on roading repairs and examining damaged buildings.

Local developer Hugh Pavletich said the quake would not be a financial bonanza.

"It was mainly older brick buildings that failed and they have only indemnity insurance, not replacement."

Mr Pavletich predicted the structures would be deemed unworthy of repair and demolished.

But developer Dave Henderson forecast a massive financial boost.

"Anyone in the brick- or block-laying business, all their problems are over, along with anyone in construction or civil services."

This story has been corrected from an earlier version, which incorrectly said Fletcher chiefs had spoken with Fulton Hogan.