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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 10:47 pm

Christchurch impacting Wellington hospitality

May 31st, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

WAITING GAME: Katelynn Evans, one of many Christchurch hospitality workers who have arrived in Wellington. Photo: Kris Smylie

THE NUMBER of closed bars and restaurants in the Christchurch CBD no-go zone is having an impact on Wellington’s hospitality scene.

Meetings, conferences and skilled workers have been relocating to the capital.

The impact has been positive from a business perspective says Bruce Robertson of the Wellington branch of the Hospitality Association of New Zealand.(HANZ)

“There’s been a marked increase in meetings and conferences relocated to Wellington, and we’ve had a lot of skilled workers come up this way,” he says.

Mr Robertson says HANZ has received little feedback from businesses regarding the increase in Cantabrians looking for work in Wellington, and certainly not anything negative.

Wellington has more cafes per capita than New York city, so is an obvious choice for many displaced Christchurch employees looking for a place to work.

One of those to recently arrive in Wellington is Katelynn Evans 25, formerly of Beckenham, Christchurch.

Ms Evans was a duty manager at Christchurch student institution, The Foundry, and recently re-located after being told there was no chance of her resuming her employment any time in the near future.

“I stuck around for seven weeks in the hope my job would start up again. I could have looked for something else in Christchurch but the way hospitality is down there now… it’s a bit dodgy,” she says.

“A lot of suburban bars are always packed, but with all types of people and often there’s a lot of conflict with different types all in one place, it’s not ideal.”

Ms Evans is currently living with two recently relocated Cantabrians and says more of her friends who also work in hospitality are about to move to either Wellington or Auckland.

“A really good friend is finding the whole situation depressing,” she says.

“After the first quake a lot of places closed down and then refurbished, there was a great buzz as places re-opened again, then boom. My friend works in hotels and is losing confidence in work starting up again, I reckon she’ll be out of there soon.”

Ms Evans says that most people don’t realise the effect the quake has had on the industry, especially employees.

“Most of us are on casual or part time contracts so basically when our jobs went we were buggered.”

A lot of other people have had to take on jobs for which they are overqualified.

“I know of one guy who was a general manager of a really well-to-do bar who is washing glasses out in the suburbs, and lots of managers who are struggling to put 20 hours a week together waitressing,” she says.

Ms Evans has been in Wellington for 14 days and had several interviews and hopes to be employed as soon as possible.

“I really like Wellington, but Christchurch is home, my family are all there and they support my decision.”

“Hopefully I can gain some real experience here and maybe go home in a couple of years when things are a bit more normal.” she says.

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