Board’s Role in Crisis

Calling all board members and CEOs - A Board's Role in Crisis

  • Have you been on a Board of Directors or a CEO of an organisation that experienced a crisis within the last 10 years?
  • Do you feel you learned from that experience?
  • Would you like to share your experience to help others facing crises in the future?
We’d like to talk to you!

We are particularly interested in talking with Chairs, Directors and CEOs of organisations that provide of essential community services such as food, water, health, energy, communications, transportation, and banking.


1-2 hours of your time to meet with you at your convenience to gain your insights and professional experience on the role of the Board in times of crisis.


Please contact Erica Seville, [email protected] or +64 (0)21 456 706.


The aim of this project is to create a guide for Boards of Directors to use in preparation for and in times of crisis. It will summarise the experiences of boards who have navigated through crisis, considering what worked, what didn’t, and what they would have done differently. All lessons will be confidential, and not attributed to any one person or organisation.

The focus will be on critical infrastructure organisations, and aims to extract lessons learned on the role, behaviours, and leadership of boards. We are looking to interview individuals to capture different perspectives on the board’s role in crisis, including Chairs of the Board, Directors on the Board, and CEOs of critical infrastructure organisations who have faced significant crisis within the last 10 years. This may include experience of natural disaster, reputational risk, health and safety incidents, cyber-attack, public safety concerns, or any other crisis.

This research is a collaboration between Resilient Organisations, QuakeCoRE, and the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Resilient Organisations’ researchers are leading this project. Resilient Organisations Ltd is a research and consulting group passionate about building future fit organisations ready to adapt and thrive in any environment. The Resilient Organisations team are world leading resilience experts, who have worked in resilience enhancement for 14 years. They are the experts in translating cutting-edge research into practical real world advice for organisations, communities, and businesses of all sizes.  To find out more visit

This project is funded by QuakeCoRE, which is a Tertiary Education Commission funded Centre of Research Excellence focused on transforming the earthquake resilience of communities and societies.  QuakeCoRE does this through innovative world‐class research, human capability development, and deep national and international collaborations. QuakeCoRE’s vision is of an earthquake-resilient Aotearoa New Zealand where thriving communities have the capacity to recover rapidly after major earthquakes through mitigation and pre-disaster preparation informed by internationally-leading research excellence.   To find out more visit

The Institute of Directors is partnering on this research to share the findings with the broader governance community. The Institute of Directors in New Zealand connects, equips and inspires its more than 9,000+ members, to add value across New Zealand business and society. Through thought leadership, our extensive network, professional governance courses, events, and resources the Institute of Directors mission is to inspire and equip people in governance to add value across New Zealand business and society.  To find out more visit


EARTH EX - Global resilience exercise

The virtual multi-sector global resilience exercise EARTH EX opens on 21 August 2019 and remains open to participate in any time through to the end of October. The ResOrgs team have registered and will be taking part in this exercise. and we encourage organisations to register and take part.

What is it?

As a way to build resilience for large and small organisations, EARTH EX is a unique opportunity to test your response to a major power outage and better anticipate and prepare for such an event.

Our infrastructure is interconnected and interdependent. A major incident in one location can cascade rapidly and have an impact on critical infrastructure systems elsewhere, affecting their ability to function, to connect communities, provide essential services, or to protect society.

How well prepared are we as a society for such an event? How prepared is your organisation? How prepared are you?

As a multi-sector international exercise, EarthEX offers a scenario that contributes to a growing understanding about the interdependencies of your organisation and the wider impact on all of your stakeholders including your employees.

EARTH EX uses video simulations to set the scene for the exercise based around a real-world threat-based scenario.

Register at

Bumpy roads to reconstruction

Bumpy roads to reconstruction

In the latest issue of BRANZ's Build Magazine, a recent QuakeCoRE project involving researchers from Resilient Organisations, the University of Auckland and Market Economics, address the question of what differentiates the earthquake rebuilding timeline of Christchurch from other places like Kobe following the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake and Los Angeles following the 1994 Northridge earthquake?

To find the answer, and to assist in improving the ability to resource future construction, the project team looked at the progress of restoring and rebuilding homes, infrastructure facilities and commercial buildings in Christchurch following the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes.

The longitudinal study of earthquake recovery in Christchurch suggested there is a delay in construction demand landing for real construction, which caused incorrect demand perception. Therefore, three essential components should be considered by the government agency and construction industry bodies taking the lead on disaster recovery for future disaster reconstruction planning:

  • A real-time, transparent, cross-sector construction information and intelligence reporting system – not using lagging metrics – that can be publicly accessible, especially for construction businesses.
  • Reduced lead time from intentions of spending to real construction.
  • Increased visibility of construction pipelines.

Read the full article

Queenstown Tourism Operators getting prepared

Queenstown Tourism Operators getting prepared

By Erica Seville (Resilient Organisations) and Trevor Andrews (Emergency Management Otago)
May 2019

This month, Erica Seville, spent an afternoon with the Queenstown Lakes district TORQUE group.  TORQUE (which stands for Tourism Operator Responders of Queenstown), brings together the largest tourism operators in the district, along with the Department of Conservation, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, and Emergency Management Otago, to collectively address the challenge of looking after up to 75,000 visitors in a major disaster.  These visitors underpin the district’s economic prosperity, but also create one of Otago’s biggest challenges in planning for a major event response.  In peak summer and winter periods, there can be up to two visitors for every local in area!

TORQUE members have committed to planning to look after their clients as well as their staff in a major event.  This includes making provision to shelter clients “in place” if necessary, and providing logistical support for moving and possibly evacuating affected people and communities.  This is underpinned by ensuring that their own staff are well prepared and trained for emergencies, and that their business continuity plans are thorough and well exercised.

In her session with the TORQUE group, Erica focused on practical strategies to use within their own organisations, and collectively as a sector, to build engagement and momentum for resilience building activities, and prioritise areas of focus.  “A well-prepared Tourism Operators sector can be a fantastic resource for the region.  They have a fleet of helicopters, 4WD vehicles, boats, and radio communications, as well as trained staff used to dealing with people and operating in extreme and often remote conditions.  There are also opportunities to leverage the skills and capabilities of visitors in the area at the time of an event.   Thinking through, in advance, how to appropriately tap into this visitor resource shifts our frame of reference from seeing visitors as a logistical challenge, to being a potential opportunity for supporting the Queenstown Lakes region during response and recovery.”

Resilience Shift Potable Water Primer published

Resilience primer for the water sector

We recently completed this primer, and the published version is now available to download from The Resilience Shift.

This primer is a brief document introducing the principles of resilience for the potable water industry. It is intended to assist those in the water industry to consider shifting practice to build the resilience of the water network.

Water is an integral part of our lives, both in its requirement for life, but also in its ability to create healthy communities. Building a resilient water network helps to enable current and future generations not only to recover from shocks and stressors but also to thrive. There is no one solution to the barriers that reduce resilience improvement efforts. This primer presents 17 recommendations to give resilience adoption a boost. These suggestions were inspired by 19 interviews with water sector operators and stakeholders and consideration of policy frameworks, advocacy bodies and academic reports.

Download the Potable Water Primer

Advice for farmers affected by Mycloplasma bovis

Advice for farmers affected by Mycloplasma bovis

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is offering a grant for advisory services to farmers affected by Mycoplasma bovis. Resilient Organisations has been identified as a pre-approved supplier for these services. If you are a farmer that has been affected by M. bovis and want help navigating through this challenging time, get in touch and we can work out how best to support you.

You are eligible to use the service if:

  • Your property is currently a Restricted Place (RP) under section 130 of the Biosecurity Act 1993, due to Mycoplasma bovis
  • Your property has previously been a Restricted Place (RP) under section 130 of the Biosecurity Act 1993, due to Mycoplasma bovis
  • You are a share milker or contract milker whose cattle have been impacted by being on a property that is, or was, an RP due to Mycoplasma bovis.

More information is available on the MPI website.

Ellie Kay wins GRRN Young Researcher Award

Ellie Kay awarded the GRRN Young Researcher Award

Congratulations to ResIlient Organisations Research Consultant, Ellie Kay on being awarded the Global Resilience Research Network (GRRN) Young Researcher Award for her presentation entitled "Embedding resilience measurement in policy and action" during the 2nd annual GRRN Summit in Freiburg, Germany.

Ellie's work seeks to operationalize the New Zealand Resilience Index as a measurement and visualisation tool to assist policymakers.

Watch her presentation below.

Managing Information and Data for a More Resilient New Zealand

Resilience to Nature's Challenges

Managing Information and Data for a More Resilient New Zealand

Resilient Organisations' researchers working on the Resilience to Nature's Challenge project have published a report on the Data Integration and Visualisation En Masse (DIVE) Platform: Lessons Learned and Future Pathways.

The Data Integration and Visualisation En Masse (DIVE) pilot project was funded by the NZ Centre for Earthquake Resilience (QuakeCoRE) and the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (RNC) National Science Challenge – Kia manawaroa – Nā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa, to improve researchers’ ability to address complex social problems, enabling New Zealand to become more resilient through data sharing, improved access to public data sources, and the analysis and visualisation of integrated data sets. Funding for the DIVE pilot project has now finished, and this report offers a final reflection on the lessons learned from the development and implementation of the DIVE Platform, and an exploration of future development pathways for collaborative management of DRR and resilience information in New Zealand.

Read more and download report

Supporting your team following the Christchurch mass tragedy

Supporting your team following the Christchurch mass tragedy

Bernard Walker, University of Canterbury

The mass tragedy in Christchurch affects many people. The injured and deceased are part of our Canterbury community. Some are work colleagues, and others are friends and family of workers. Most workplaces are affected.

The events bring a wide range of emotions, including anger, grief, loss, and deep sadness. At times people have strong emotions, while others can feel numb and switch off.

Anxiety also increases. Members of the ethnic groups at the centre of the events are experiencing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. The wider community can also have a heightened sense of anxiety.

There can be changes in how individuals think about life, and how safe we feel.  These are major changes, and it will take time for people to come to terms with them.

Employers and leaders have a challenging role in this situation. To assist, the Organisational Resilience Research team at the University of Canterbury have put together some key guidelines from local and international research.

Download PDF