Peter Townsend – the chief executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the rebuild’s number one cheerleader – is never short of an optimistic pull quote. Given how often he says these things – and that he’s been given a gong for doing so – I thought it would be appropriate to put some of the choicest quotes into a timeline.

May 21, 2012: “Common sense” Council Asset Sales

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend, who has previously called on the council to investigate asset sales, said the comments from Carter and Key were “common sense”. Townsend said he had received broad support after calling for a “well-considered and sensible investigation” into asset sales.

October 20th, 2012: “Smell the Money

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said: “The best way I can describe it is you can now smell the money.” It was starting to flow through the region. “And I think that’s going to play out in some quite major growth kicking in at the beginning of next year. People are starting to get to the stage they want to invest, they are wanting to make plans.”

“You can see it is just starting to crank up,” Townsend said.

May 4th, 2013: “exponential growth

Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said there is even stronger growth to come because the Canterbury rebuild had barely started.

“The trend at the moment has to be exponential not straight line,” Townsend said.

May 11th, 2013: “It’s going to be a ride

“We are going to be spending a lot of money in our community, most of that insurance money, and when that money starts flowing through our economy, watch out. It’s going to be a ride.”

May 15th, 2013: “there’s money here if you want it

“That money is going to come into Christchurch and it’s there if you want it.”

September 9th, 2013: “an avalanche of building work

Meanwhile, Townsend predicted the next three to six months would see an “acceleration towards [insurance] settlement” and an “avalanche of residential building work coming through”.

October 30th, 2013: “La la land

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said the first quarter of 2014 would see a pickup in activity and anyone “who thinks we’ve plateaued out is absolutely in la la land . . . The reality is we haven’t started the recovery yet for all intents and purposes.”

December 5th, 2013: asset sales, again

“[The council] needs to look at how much it’s prepared to borrow, how much it’s prepared to raise through rates, and whether or not it can realise cash through asset sales in the whole context of what is in the best interests of the wider community,” Townsend said.

January 4th, 2014: “Just be patient

Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend says 2014 will be a year when “people will have to be patient” because the sheer scale of the central business district rebuild means that “jigsaw” will take much longer.

January 25th, 2014: “real start of the rebuild

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend was in no doubt that this year would mark the real start of the rebuild, led initially by residential housing repairs and rebuilds.

April 5th, 2014: “goldrush

Townsend says by the end of the year Christchurch will be a goldrush city as the rebuild finally gets into top gear. “It’s going to be the equivalent of three years of Fonterra’s GDP being dumped into a place with 500,000 people.”

June 2nd, 2014: “Crystallise

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend believed “things are starting to crystallise” in the central city.

August 11th, 2014: “A lot of cash sloshing around”

We are seeing a lot of cash sloshing around in Christchurch. A lot of the old guard have done very well out of commercial rebuilds and insurance in the central city, but there is a significant number of new people generating new wealth in the city and that is led by construction.

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