Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown is urging businesses in the region to look south - at the opportunities being presented as the $30 billion Christchurch rebuild hits top gear. "We can collaborate with Christchurch to help the rebuild and build economic success in the capital too."
Mayor Wade-Brown says Christchurch-based businesses are already looking hard for partners who can help share the load as the rebuild starts to swallow up local resources and skills.
She says the actual size of the rebuild will be brought home to local businesses at the WellCan forum scheduled for 4 March in Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre.
"Christchurch business people are crying out for assistance from the manufacturing, professional and creative businesspeople in the Wellington region. These include the obvious - like architectural and engineering skills ? but also more general digital-based and creative services and manufacturing.
"The momentum of the rebuild depends heavily on such skills and services. There are so many opportunities for Wellington business to help out in Christchurch and get their city back on its feet. And the forum is a great way to find out how we can assist the many businesses who are determined to stay in Christchurch and flourish."
Mayor Wade-Brown is urging Wellington businesses to sign up for the forum. "One of the things they'll find, if they haven't figured it already, is that innovative companies especially do not actually have to physically shift south to be part of the rebuild."
Wellington City Council is a key supporter of the WellCan Forum. It is working with other local councils as well as Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce, Grow Wellington, ANZ Bank, Brendon Burns and Associates MACRO and the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Wade-Brown says a number of Wellington-based practices - especially in the area of architecture, engineering and urban planning - are already deeply involved in the rebuild and there is plenty of room for more.
"And this is a vast project in New Zealand terms the rebuild will by no means be all over by the end of 2013 - it is expected to last for much of this decade."
Wellington businesses already working in Christchurch will be at the forum to tell their success stories.
They will be joined by more than a dozen Christchurch-based business people who will be looking to connect with Wellington businesses who can assist help them with rebuild projects
It is free to attend WellCan, but interested businesses and individuals are asked to register at: