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Overseas migrants arriving to help rebuild Christchurch


18:27, July 22, 2013

WELLINGTON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Record numbers of overseas migrants have begun flocking to New Zealand's earthquake-battered second city of Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region as reconstruction accelerates, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) announced Monday.

Latest figures showed that 636 people moved to Greater Christchurch from overseas in June, the biggest number for the month of June since the government statistics agency began publishing data in 1990, said a statement from CERA.

In the first six months this year, 4,409 people migrated to Greater Christchurch, equal to almost 25 people every day.

Meanwhile, the number of people leaving is down -- 150 people left Christchurch City for Australia in June -- was the lowest for any month since November 2009.

Acting CERA chief executive Warwick Isaacs said the job opportunities in construction and trades, as well as the supporting industries, made Christchurch an attractive proposition.

"I think people are also seeing the chance to be a part of something quite special in Christchurch. It's not often you get to rebuild a city into something new and world-class," Isaacs said in the statement.

The New Zealand government announced last month a total of 4.8 billion NZ dollars (3.8 billion U.S. dollars) would be invested in rebuilding major town center facilities and infrastructure in Christchurch.

Canterbury has been battered by thousands of earthquakes starting with a 7.1-magnitude quake September 2010, and including a 6.3-magnitude quake that killed 185 people in February 2011.

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