Chch firms invited south
Last updated 05:00 22/06/2011
Dunedin wants to attract earthquake-affected Christchurch businesses south, rather than lose them to Australia or the North Island.
Dunedin city councillor John Bezett, who chairs a working party on the proposal, said it was not offering any financial incentives to lure businesses to Otago.
"We have been particularly sensitive in not wanting to offend any Christchurch institution with the perception that we are trying to poach business to Dunedin," he said.
However, the ramifications of the Canterbury quakes were an issue for the whole South Island, he said.
It was better companies relocated to Dunedin on a temporary or permanent basis, rather than moving overseas or to the North Island.
"We don't necessarily want people to move here from Christchurch, but if they are thinking about going to Australia, we would much rather they came here."
A pamphlet had been produced for Christchurch businesses, detailing how to contact the Dunedin City Council's economic development unit. "It outlines the particular facilities and institutions available, and outlines the various advantages of moving to Dunedin," Bezett said.
Businesses that moved to Dunedin from Christchurch could apply for rates relief or funding through the council industry project fund.
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said only a "handful" of businesses had left Christchurch and only site-specific sectors, such as tourism, were badly affected.