Newsletter August 2023

In this issue:

  • Learning from the emergency response to Cyclone Gabrielle
  • We're looking for commercial building tenants to test seismic risk messaging
  • Why is engaging communities about natural hazards and climate change risks so difficult?
  • The impacts of cash settlement of insurance claims
  • Supporting critical infrastructure recovery following the North Island extreme weather events
  • We've been busy on the road spreading the word about organisational resilience
  • New team members at ResOrgs


Learning from the emergency response to Cyclone Gabrielle

When disaster strikes, it’s crucial to capture lessons of what went well and what can be improved for the future.

Cyclone Gabrielle was the most significant disaster to hit New Zealand in recent years and occurred after parts of the North Island had already been affected by flooding and extreme weather events.

In our work with organisations helping them capture lessons from their emergency response to the cyclone, it has been encouraging to see a genuine desire and willingness to work on improving their preparedness and capability for the next disaster.

While it is important to capture lessons as soon as possible after an event, it isn't too late to review your organisation's response to this year's weather events. Check out our resources to help you get started, or have a chat with our team if you would like more guidance with the process.

Learn more about after-event reviews


We’re looking for commercial building tenants to test seismic risk messaging with

When it comes to using seismic risk information to make decisions, effective communication is key for ensuring the best outcomes. With a significant influence on property developers and landlords, commercial building tenants can help drive the seismic performance of buildings that best reflect the user's needs.

We are working with the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (Massey University) and Kestrel Group to understand how seismic risk information is communicated to commercial building tenants in New Zealand and how tenants interpret this information to make lease decisions.

If you are a commercial building tenant with experience considering seismic risk information in leasing decisions or know a tenant who has, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with Charlotte Brown or Cameron Eade.

This project is jointly funded by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Lets-talk-about-risk-logo-webWhy is engaging communities about natural hazard and climate change risks so difficult?

We’ve been exploring this question in our Let’s Talk About Risk project and have found that natural hazard and climate risk engagement is challenging due to:

  • The high stakes. Emotions are higher when there are perceived and/or expected losses.
  • The science can be technical and highly uncertain, and experts are often required to assist with engagement.
  • Hazards and their impacts are temporal, and risk appetite across communities is highly variable. This can make it hard to collect and reconcile diverse community voices.
  • Governance and ownership of risk, and who pays, is not always clear. This can make the pathway between engagement and decision-making uncertain.
  • There are notable capability and capacity gaps.

Later this year, we’ll be releasing a framework we are developing with our Delphi panel to support practitioners undertaking these types of community engagements - watch this space!

Read more on our preliminary findings

The impacts of cash settlement of insurance claims

At the end of May, Toka Tū Ake EQC released research undertaken by ResOrgs, Tonkin + Taylor, and Kestrel Group, which examined the impacts of cash settlement of insurance claims from the 2016 Kaikōura/Hurunui earthquake.

The research was commissioned in response to a recommendation made by the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission, which reported the existence of anecdotal evidence that cash settlements from the 2016 event failed to translate into quality repaired homes. The study included a detailed assessment of the impacts on housing quality and claimant wellbeing.

The findings will feed into a larger and ongoing study that will test the advantages and disadvantages of using the cash settlement model to inform insurance responses to future disasters.

Read the reports

KEY FINDINGS (Click on image for full-sized image)


Supporting critical infrastructure recovery following the North Island extreme weather events

We are proud to partner with the University of Auckland on the MBIE-funded Supporting Critical Infrastructure Recovery project. The project has just released two high-level briefs to support those managing critical infrastructure recovery following the North Island Extreme Weather Events.

Critical infrastructure recovery: Key lessons provides lessons for managing critical infrastructure recovery programmes based on New Zealand and international experiences.The brief covers topics such as governance and operational management, recovery work sequencing and resourcing, information needs and engagement.

Building resilience through recovery: Investment decision-making, focuses on the considerations necessary to inform critical infrastructure repair and recovery decisions. The brief steps readers through the stages of the decision-making process, including defining the problem, assessing the risk, understanding criticality, identifying and selecting intervention options, and implementation.

If you would like to know more about this work, please contact Charlotte Brown.

We've been busy on the road spreading the word about organisational resilience

NZ Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) 2023 Annual Conference

Charlotte Brown presented on recent projects ResOrgs has been involved in within the world of earthquake engineering, including:

Hospitality NZ Conference 2023

Cameron Eade presented on preparing for ‘anything’ in a world of uncertainty at the Hospitality NZ conference.

For a sector that was challenged by COVID-19 and continues to be impacted by other crises, there is no better time to invest in building organisational resilience.

Check out Hospitality NZ's web page, Stronger Business Futures, for advice and resources.

Society of Construction Law Conference 2023

Appropriate for the conference theme, ‘From Surviving to Thriving’, Cameron's presentation encouraged a more holistic approach to seismic building risk and showcased different projects we have been involved in, including:

Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Hospo Hui 2023

Cameron was also invited to join a “She’ll be right ... until it’s not” panel discussion at the 2023 Hospo Hui. The panel discussed best practices for how restaurants can build their organisational resilience to recover from recent disruptions (and prepare for the next!).

New team members at ResOrgs

Lucy Gawn

We recently welcomed Lucy Gawn to our team. Lucy is an experienced administrator who will be helping the team with different projects. Her key area of responsibility is the management of the  Response and Recovery Aotearoa New Zealand (RRANZ) Leadership Development Programme.


Piers LockeWe also welcome Piers Locke to our team as a Senior Consultant.

Piers brings a depth of climate adaptation and transition knowledge to the Resilient Organisations’ team. He is an expert in sustainability and organisational change, trained in environmental social science and specialises in the transition to a low-emissions, climate-resilient future.

Scroll to Top