Business recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes

Findings from a survey of 206 organisations in the Greater Christchurch urban area in mid-2016

Did organisations learn from their earthquake experiences?

On average, businesses undertook

3

new mitigation activities

Over

80% 

of businesses engaged in

at least 1 mitigation activity

2

most common

mitigation measures undertaken

  • Better IT backups
  • Improved insurance arrangements

What adaptive actions did organisations take to help them thrive?

9 out of 10 organisations made at least one change to their business to help cope with new conditions in the post-earthquake environment.

3 most common changes made
  • New products or services

    62%

  • Change in customers

    61%

  • Use of new technologies

    54%

How quickly did organisations recover?

IMMEDIATELY
%
Comfortably stable or thriving
SEVERAL MONTHS LATER
%
Comfortably stable or thriving
1 YEAR LATER
%
Comfortably stable or thriving
2 YEARS LATER
%
Comfortably stable or thriving
5 YEARS LATER
%
Comfortably stable or thriving

What changes in demand for their goods or services did organisations experience?

Below are the eight patterns of demand for goods and services experienced by survey respondents
(and the % of respondents for each pattern) over the five years following the earthquakes.
Immediate and sustained increase
Demand-1
Volatile
Demand-5
No change
Demand-3
Slow return
Demand-6
Steady growth
Demand-2a
Permanent decrease
Demand-7
Decrease then increase
Demand-4
Increase then decrease
Demand-8
Which patterns of demand were beneficial to recovery?
Of the eight patterns of demand, four were associated with a positive recovery and three considered to be challenging in the context of recovery.
Patterns associated with positive recovery
Demand-challenging
Patterns associated with challenging recovery
Positive-demand-patterns

Which disruptions affected organisations the most?

Which infrastructure and non-infrastructure disruptions impacted the highest number of respondents?

Infrastructure disruptions
Infrastructure-eq-disruptions
Non-infrastructure disruptions
Non-infrastructure-eq-disruptions

Which disruptions had the most impact?

Below are the disruptions (and mean weighted disruption score) ranked by their impact on organisations.

Infrastructure disruptions
  • 1
    Road networks (0.59)
  • 2
    Phone networks (0.53)
  • 3
    Water (0.50)
  • 4
    Electricity (0.50)
  • 5
    Sewage (0.48)
  • 6
    Data networks (0.44)
  • 7
    Fuel (0.24)
  • 8
    Airport (0.11)
  • 9
    Port (0.10)
  • 10
    Gas (0.08)
  • 11
    Rail networks (0.06)
Non-infrastructure disruptions
  • 1
    Customer issues (0.57)
  • 2
    Neighbourhood damage (0.54)
  • 3
    Emotional wellbeing changes (0.53)
  • 4
    Difficulty accessing premises (0.53)
  • 5
    Structural building damage (0.52)
  • 6
    Non-structural building damage (0.46)
  • 7
    Inventory or stock damage (0.45)
  • 8
    Perceptions of building safety (0.44)
  • 9
    Difficulty accessing IT data (0.40)
  • 10
    Damage to next door (0.39)
  • 11
    Ground surface damage (0.38)
  • 12
    Heath and safety issues (0.38)
  • 13
    Supplier issues (0.37)
  • 14
    Office equipment damage or loss (0.35)
  • 15
    Availability of staff (0.34)
  • 16
    Machinery damage or loss (0.33)

What level of supply chain disruption was experienced?

IMMEDIATELY
%
experienced suppliers incapable or somewhat incapable of meeting their needs
SEVERAL MONTHS LATER
%
experienced suppliers incapable or somewhat incapable of meeting their needs
2 YEARS LATER
%
experienced suppliers incapable or somewhat incapable of meeting their needs
5 YEARS LATER
%
experienced suppliers incapable or somewhat incapable of meeting their needs

How did revenue change?

Immediately
Revenue-EQ-Imm
Several months later
Revenue-EQ-Month
1 year later
Revenue-EQ-1-Year
2 years later
Revenue-EQ-2-Years
5 years later
Revenue-EQ-5-Years

Overview

Organisations play a vital role in the recovery of communities following disaster events.  This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge examining the impacts on, and recovery trajectories of organisations following disruption.  A survey, conducted in 2016, examines recovery trajectories of 206 organisations impacted by the 2010-11 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake sequence.  The survey was the 5th in a series of surveys carried out by the authors following the earthquakes.

This sequence of earthquakes created many challenges for organisations with a wide range of disruption profiles.  Some organisations suffered significant damage and loss including stock and buildings, while others faced staff, customer and/or supplier disruption.

Data from this longitudinal data set gives a unique opportunity to examine the relative importance of different impacts, preparedness measures and post-event adaptation measures at different time points in recovery.

Project goals

  • To provide data to demonstrate the value of investment in organisational resilience;
  • To map the 5 year recovery trajectory of organisations;
  • To better understand the contextual factors that affect long term recovery.

Key contact

Tracy Hatton

Senior Research Consultant
p: 021 160 7707
e : [email protected]

Project team

Tracy Hatton, Senior Research Consultant, Resilient Organisations LtdTracy Hatton

Senior Research Consultant
Resilient Organisations Ltd


Charlotte Brown

Senior Research Consultant
Resilient Organisations Ltd


Erica Seville

Managing Director
Resilient Organisations Ltd

Our funders

We are grateful for our funders who support our research and have contributed to this project.