An influx of foreign workers into Auckland is likely as the building boom ramps up, Prime Minister Bill English says.
"I expect you would see the sort of influx you saw in Christchurch," he said at his post-cabinet press conference on Monday.
"Some of those have already gone to Auckland, some have gone home as it flattens out."
Mr English also expects foreign companies will be interested in the big social housing schemes that are in the pipeline.
"We'll see who shows up - that process is underway right now," he said.
NZ First leader Winston Peters says it's an appalling situation.
"This underscores what a massive failure the Christchurch rebuild was in terms of training Kiwi workers," he said.
"There are 91,000 young New Zealanders languishing without jobs, training or education."