Canterbury flooding does little to dampen locals' spirits

Thursday, 28 October 2021

The recent one-in-100-year rain event that hit the North and Mid Canterbury region may have dampened the land, but it certainly hasn't dampened the locals' spirits.

While farmers were particularly hard hit, with some suffering enormous losses, apart from a number of businesses experiencing water damage and interruptions to "normal business life", most have bounced back well and are up and operating again.

The vibe in the Canterbury provincial towns is hugely positive, with the Industrial and Business Parks in Rolleston, Ashburton and Timaru experiencing strong demand from local and national tenants.

Fondly known as the "Grain Bowl of New Zealand", demand is strong in the Mid and South Canterbury regions for storage and sorting facilities, something the new Parks can accommodate and offer.

Rolleston's Inland Port is growing, going from strength to strength as Christchurch City expands South, and city-based businesses now look to secure more significant sites at reasonable prices.

Ashburton Business Park's variable lot sizes have meant smaller local businesses can afford to relocate their operations. At the same time, larger national tenants also see the benefits of clustering at the Park.

Timaru continues to be strong, thanks partly to the strong farming sector and the Port of Timaru, which kept local workers employed and freight moving through lockdowns. The redevelopment of the Timaru Showgrounds into Big Box Retail is attracting new national and international tenants to the town and pumping "new money" into the community.

All in all, while there have been several setbacks recently, most Canterbury provincial towns are seeing substantial growth in their economies as local government and local communities invest in infrastructure and welcome commercial growth with open arms.

Words by: Hamish Niles, Commercial Sales Consultant, Ashburton

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