Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Disasters conference – 18 months since the big quake

Disasters conference – 18 months to the day since Christchurch’s big quake

August 20, 2012

The heat will go on the impact, response and recovery of the Christchurch earthquakes this week with the sixth annual Australasian natural hazard management conference at the University of Canterbury campus.

More than 250 experts, scientists, researchers, government and CERA people will attend the August 22 and 23 conference which is expected to produce substantial national and international interest, according to organiser and UC lecturer Tom Wilson.

Christchurch will be the central topic and it will be 18 months today day since the city was severely impacted by the fatal February 22, 2011 earthquake.

``This disaster is one of the greatest geo-technical disasters for a major city. We've never seen such a high proportion of a city affected by both slope instability and liquefaction damage following an earthquake. It’s just unprecedented

``Christchurch is an experiment unfolding. It’s the first major disaster in New Zealand since the Napier earthquake in 1931. The breadth of disciplines we need to understand to recover from this disaster is enormous, ranging from geo-science, structural engineering to social sciences, health, law, education and the arts. It’s incredible watching this disaster unfold in Christchurch.

``For people like us who follow these events, it is like Christchurch is a major disaster laboratory. We’re now watching how New Zealand will recover, how we can enhance the city and how resilient we are.’’

Wilson said it was a great chance to learn the lessons of how Christchurch manages and recovers from the earthquakes so other cities in New Zealand could respond more effectively in another disaster and there was bound to be another one at some point considering our active tectonic landscape.

So this conference is holistic looking at all areas that are affected, as a result of the earthquakes, and it is just fantastic the CERA and central government are participating. It is exciting they are engaged, and contributing along with the researchers and other specialists.

The economic impact is massive. Estimates based on property damage place the combined cost of the Canterbury earthquakes at around $nz20 billion. This amount is the equivalent to approximately 10 per cent of New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The estimated cost of the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami was around three to four percent of Japan’s annual GDP. While private insurers were bearing a significant portion of the costs, the earthquakes had caused a notable deterioration in the government’s operating deficit over the 2010/2011 year.

Wilson said it was fascinating to follow the course New Zealand had decided to recover from the earthquakes. There has been a lot of evidence from overseas and New Zealand that recovery must actively involve the community, forming a bottom up approach.

The response to Christchurch’s earthquake has been a slightly more mixed model with direct leadership from central government with CERA providing a direct approach, but with significant effort to engage and work with communities. It is very interesting to watch how it is unfolding, he said.

Aspects of the grounding of MV Rena off Tauranga last year will also be discussed, providing an opportunity to reflect on the reactions by Maritime New Zealand, regional council and Department of Conservation.

Some of the presentations will look at the earthquake insurance, Christchurch’s residential rebuild, volcanic eruption warning challenges, behavioural response to Christchurch’s earthquakes, 80 years after Napier’s earthquake and relocating business after Christchurch’s earthquakes.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The America’s Cup, Critical Race Theory And A New, Weekly Music Playlist

So… Why don’t they just cut to the chase, and call it the Emirates Cup? As this column predicted several months ago, the next America’s Cup challenge is headed overseas. Here’s what Werewolf said back in March:
Emirates has made a major commitment to Portsmouth/Isle of Wight as a sailing centre of excellence – and voila, that’s where the next challenger of record is coming from, and where the next Cup contest could well be sailed. Such incredible luck for Emirates, right..? More>>


Marine: Wider Roll-out Of Cameras On Boats To Support Sustainability And Protect Marine Life

Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations... More>>


Government: Plan For Vaccine Rollout For General Population Announced

New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today... More>>


Jewish Council: New Zealand Not Immune From Rise In Antisemitism

The representative body of New Zealand Jewry, the NZ Jewish Council (NZJC), has expressed concern about the high number of antisemitic incidents in New Zealand recorded last month. Spokesperson for the NZJC, Juliet Moses, said... More>>

NZNO: Nurses Reject DHB Offer And Confirm Strike Action

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says its 30,000 members who work in DHBs have voted overwhelmingly to reject a second offer in their current round of multi-employer collective agreement (MECA) negotiations... More>>





InfoPages News Channels