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


Expert sees similarities between New Orleans and Chch

Expert sees recovery similarities between New Orleans, post-Katrina, and Christchurch

August 29, 2013

A post-disaster university response expert from New Orleans, which was severely hit by Hurricane Katrina eight years ago, says he sees recovery similarities between his home town and Christchurch following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Vincent Ilustre, executive director at Tulane University’s Centre for Public Service in New Orleans, will be the keynote speaker at the first New Zealand Tertiary Community Engagement Summit at the University of Canterbury (UC) on Friday.

More than 1800 people died during Hurricane Katrina and Ilustre says the population of New Orleans city dropped from 460,000 to 360,000 and of those 75,000 are new to the city as part of the recovery. See interview with Ilustre here: http://youtu.be/NnLOYUV7uis

``What Christchurch doesn’t have are the cultural, racial and socio-economic issues that New Orleans has where we not only dealt with the recovery post-Katrina, but we also had to deal with those contexts in terms of race and class.

``In terms of the physical recovery, one thing I have noticed is how isolated New Zealand is. I have toured the Christchurch CBD and see there is less equipment around to do the actual rebuilding. In New Orleans all kinds of heavy equipment to begin the process of recovery was bought into the city at a far quicker pace.

``But there are a lot of similarities, with the open spaces of land which is what I see in downtown Christchurch and on the outskirts of Christchurch in the most devastated eastern parts of the city.

``The University of Canterbury is pivotal to the city and it really has an opportunity to capitalise and become better members of the community. Similar to Tulane, UC can focus on engagement and it is an opportunity now to set itself apart from other universities in New Zealand.

``The innovative plan envisioned by UC after the quakes lays the foundation for an engaged campus that is responsive to its surrounding community, the nation and the world.

``UC can really capture the imagination and spirit through their students as the recovery takes hold. For students coming to UC next year, the fact that the University is involving its students and staff in work in the community and being part of the rebuild process is exciting.

``Students should take advantage of this situation to engage themselves beyond regular volunteerism, but really thinking about the issues that under-gird some of the things that are happening in the recovery. They can explore opportunities for themselves professionally which will really help them find employment later.’’

The summit is part of a drive by UC to engage closely with the community. Already more than 400 students have been involved in UC’s CHCH101 course, launched after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, to build on the Student Volunteer Army’s community engagement work.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>


UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels