Industry sector recovery following the Canterbury earthquakes

Hlekiwe Kachali, Zac Whitman, Joanne Stevenson, John Vargo, Erica Seville and Tom Wilson

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 12, June 2015, Pages 42–52


The Canterbury sequence of earthquakes offers an opportunity to study the post-disaster recovery process of organisations and industry sectors. This study uses data collected via a survey of organisations affected by the 22 February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, New Zealand. The industry sectors in the study are: construction for its role in the rebuild, information and communication technology which is a regional high-growth industry, trucking for logistics, critical infrastructurefast moving consumer goods (e.g. supermarkets) and hospitality to track recovery through non-discretionary and discretionary spend respectively. When compared to post-earthquake revenue changes, significant factors affecting organisations include customer issues, staff wellbeing and disruption to utilities. Also discussed is the differential effect these factors have on the industry sectors studied. This paper identifies the different factors that disrupted organisations in different sectors; explores the relative impact of these disruptions; and examines the differences in short- to medium-term recovery trends.

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