The members of BusinessNZ's Major Companies Group CEO Forum were briefed by Prime Minister John Key, Finance Minister Bill English and Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee at a meeting in Auckland yesterday afternoon.
The Forum identified a number of key areas where major companies could provide additional help to the city, including water, housing, infrastructure, health services, telecommunications and financial services.
Each area will be led by a CEO with specialist knowledge to develop action plans in consultation with Civil Defence and the Government.
Following that, the Steering Group will liaise with government agencies and co-ordinate private sector assistance in Christchurch to maximise the wealth of expertise and resources within New Zealand's leading companies.
Forum convenor, BusinessNZ CEO Phil O'Reilly, said there was overwhelming willingness from the business community to help Christchurch through this crisis and beyond as it rebuilds.
Forum chairman, Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier, said there was 100% commitment to the future of Christchurch.
"Everyone around the table was absolutely committed to helping Christchurch through this terrible tragedy and to get back on its feet again.
"We heard that many of New Zealand's companies are already doing a lot to help Christchurch and clearly there is a lot of experience we can draw on," Ferrier said.
The Steering Group, chaired by Ferrier and working with the co-ordination of BusinessNZ, will develop an agreed set of action plans for each priority area in the near term.
Christchurch's rebuilding is estimated to cost New Zealand about $16 billion.