Christchurch homeowners waiting for repairs to their
earthquake-damaged properties have been assured by insurance
companies that their work will not be impacted by Mainzeal's
The New Zealand construction giant went into receivership
yesterday, casting doubts over the future for around 400
staff - as well as the $30 billion Christchurch rebuild.
Some of those workers could be shifting into new roles on the
post-disaster rebuild with joint venture MWH Mainzeal, bosses
Vero and AA Insurance use MWH Mainzeal for residential
repairs and rebuilds on quake-hit properties.
Both insurers today moved to reassure customers that their
domestic building projects progress will continue as usual.
"This will not affect the overall recovery in Christchurch,"
a Vero spokeswoman said.
"We will continue to work closely with our customers to
ensure their progress is not impacted."
The receivership has put Mainzeal sub-contractors on edge.
More than 1000 sub-contractors could "bear the brunt" of the
move, says the Specialist Trade Contractors' Federation.
The group fears the move could result in some small firms
going under, or even losing family homes which are often put
up as security against loans or overdrafts.
President Graham Burke believes sub-contractors with a large
exposure to Mainzeal could fold, and it might be hard to find
a new contractor to pick up the work in a burgeoning market
like Christchurch where costs are rising.
"It may be almost impossible to find a new sub-contractor
that will complete the job at the rates negotiated 18 months
to two years ago," he said.
"The effects could be wide-reaching."
Prime Minister John Key didn't believe the 45-year old
company's collapse would affect the rebuild in Christchurch
where it has about 90 staff.
"They're a really small component part. I'd be amazed if
someone didn't come in and buy that part of their business
there... or alternatively those workers take up employment
He expected many workers to pick up jobs in Christchurch.
Yesterday, receivers PwC - appointed at the BNZ's request -
said Mainzeal's sole director, Richard Yan, had decided the
company could no longer continue trading.
This was due to a "series of events that had adversely
affected the company's financial position", combined with a
general decline in commercial construction activity and lack
of shareholder support.
Mainzeal, New Zealand's third biggest construction firm,
behind Fletcher and Hawkins, has been working on two of
Christchurch's biggest demolition projects - Queen Elizabeth
II Park (QEII) and the 17-storey office block Clarendon