Andrew Hughes and Olivia Wix are investigating the job market nationwide. Today they report from Christchurch.
When we first arrived in Christchurch we were aware of the ongoing issues of hundreds of redundancies and displaced, alienated youth.
We decided to head out to the old Lane Walker Rudkin buildings on Mosgiel Street where we met two employees who had just been made redundant, Rod and Jane. They were working, selling clothes in the factory outlet.
Rod has been at LWR for three-and-a-half years, and Jane for 25 years, but on Thursday they found out they had a week left at their jobs. Both say they were expecting the redundancies but it still came as a shock.
Jane had been applying for jobs since the first round of redundancies in April, but hasn't got a job yet. She's applied for over 40 positions and has had only three interviews.
To make matters worse, her son-in-law (who is the main breadwinner of the family) works at Bridgestone/Firestone, which has announced it will close down. Despite being made redundant, and the time of the year, both remain positive.
Rod says he'll keep looking for work, but will have a think and reassess what he wants to do. And Jane says that as she is not eligible for a benefit, she's considering going back to university to study social work.
When we talked to the deputy mayor Norm Withers he told us that the majority of the LWR employees who were made redundant have found work or are actively seeking it.
He says that the type of workers LWR employed wouldn't settle for sitting around moping about. But he told us there was a clear difference between LWR redundancies and Bridgestone/Firestone.
The Serious Fraud Office is investigating the failure of LWR, which collapsed in April owing a total of $121 million. Bridgestone says it is no longer viable to make tyres in either New Zealand or Australia and its tyres will now be imported from Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.
After finding out in Dunedin that a lot of people think the media is to blame for the stereotype of Dunedin students being drunk and rowdy, we decided to see if this was the same for the boy racers of Christchurch.
We hit the town on Saturday night and found that it was exactly the same as what we see on the news. Being an outsider to the city means you can see that this boy racing is clearly an issue.
We witnessed hundreds of cars speeding down the four corners of Christchurch, their common route. and saw all sorts of antics, including roof-riding on top of a van while driving, parking lot burnouts and excessive speeding.
We met with a drift car event organiser, who says that drifting and V8 racing is a potential career option for these youths because of the skills they have picked up at the illegal drags.
He says that by the time most of them get on the drifting tracks they take to it "like a duck to water". He said it's a definite career option if they focus on it. But when we put it to them, most said they hadn't considered making their hobby into a career.
It seems like the boy racers are, and will always be, a controversial issue for Christchurch - not even the council can agree on what to do with them.
Mr Withers, speaking on the boy racer issue, said: "Overall, because there's no discipline at home, there is a lot of single families like single parents, there is no accountability in a lot of cases, there is no responsibility, and it is that small minority number… that spoil it for the large majority and you'll find that the ones that are violating the law… a number of them are what you call habitual offenders."
He says the council is building a skate park to deter them off the streets. Some might argue this is a typical local government answer to youth issues, which will only be useful to a small group of the youth in question.
The deputy mayor says they are hoping the government's new boy racer targeted reforms (such as car crushing) will help with the problem, alongside their safer community wardens.
But another councillor who talked to us, Yarni Johanson, told us he believes the council have gone about it the wrong way with boy racers. He says the council is lacking the understanding this issue requires and that they need to work with the racers, rather than have an "us versus them" mentality.
He says that what would be an effective solution is to build an arena where the boy racers can bring their cars and race them in a safe environment, without putting other members of the public at risk.
These two main issues were tied together when we were told that the biggest concern among people aged 18 to 24 was that there is a lack of jobs, even for those with a university degree.
This may be commonplace across the country, but with the added blow of so many redundancies this year, youth are experiencing a turbulent job market in Christchurch.
However, if Rod and Jane are anything to go by, then remaining positive and actively job seeking is the answer.
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