The Canterbury Earthquake could ultimately cost about NZ$4 billion, Treasury Secretary John Whitehead has reportedly said.
According to Stuff, Whitehead said the NZ$2 billion figure previously used only covers the Earthquake Commission's liabilities. Treasury's estimate of the total cost to householders, insurance companies, businesses and taxpayers was, in fact, probably nearer double that.
The Earthquake Commission is advising that 29,678 claims have been received as at mid-day today, 24,390 from within Christchurch City.
"The cost faced by the EQC, individuals, and insurance costs will probably be of the order of NZ$4 billion," Mr Whitehead said.
In terms of the economic impact it was early days, "but the pattern of these is certainly a short term drop in activity of businesses being unable to function and ... there's always a risk of businesses failing.
"In the slightly longer term when you've got that reconstruction effort, a big amount of that going on tends to raise GDP (gross domestic product)."
But Mr Whitehead stressed that there were a "very wide range of estimates" on costs at the moment because officials were still to "get down to what's actually happened on the ground".