Local businesses urged to help with rebuild

Nelson Taman plumbers, joiners and bespoke furniture makers are being called upon to assist with the latest ‘pinch-points’ in the Canterbury rebuild.Project – a regional cluster of design and build companies – is now being driven by the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce.

As a result of this collaboration, Project has established strong links with an organisation called Collaborate Canterbury which is working directly with tier one contractors in Christchurch to identify where the highest needs are and how these can be meet.

Chamber chief executive Dot Kettle says plumbers, office fit out specialists and bespoke furniture makers are in demand at the moment.

“We’ve been advised that they are particularly short of plumbers and any Nelson firms with the capacity to help on this front are likely to be welcomed with open arms.’’

Interested businesses are being urged to contact the chamber.

“We can connect you to the work in Christchurch, and also equip you with essential information for doing business in a city that is challenged with re-establishing itself,’’ Dot says.

Last month Collaborate Canterbury staged a “Buyers’ Meeting” in Christchurch where a series of introductions – a bit like speed dating – took place between major contractors and businesses that could fill the gaps.

Shane Atherton, group manager of Nelson firm Freeman Roofing, says the event was well worth the trip to Christchurch. He had five meetings with construction companies and established some promising contacts for follow up work. “It was a really good way to get your point across in a hurry.’’

Dot says building contractors and project managers in Christchurch are short of time so approaches need to be well targeted in order to catch their attention. Employees are also constantly in short supply so firms with staff who could work in Canterbury have a real advantage.