More plan to leave Christchurch after June aftershocks

8:09 pm on 21 July 2011

A survey suggests the confidence of Christchurch people that the city can recover has lessened following the 13 June aftershocks.

The number of people planning to stay in the city dipped, from 87% before the June quakes to 81% afterwards.

The poll, conducted by research company UMR, says the most likely to leave are those aged between 18 and 29, and those who don't own their own homes.

The survey comes on the same day Statistics New Zealand figures show 600 people left Christchurch permanently last month, up 100 from the year before.

The UMR poll found that just a few days before the quakes, 66% of those questioned felt the recovery was on course, but that since dropped to 53%.

Before the June aftershocks, only half Christchurch's residents feared there would be another big quake within a year. This leapt to 71% following the 5.6 and 6.3 magnitude shakes on 13 June.

A total 54% of Christchurch residents report structural damage to their home, with 13% suffering severe damage.

The telephone survey of 400 people was carried out from 2-4 June and 17-19 June and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.

Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin says the continuing exodus of people from Christchurch is not surprising.