The recovery of canterbury's organisations: A comparative analysis of the 4 September 2010, 22 February and 13 June 2011 earthquakes

Joanne Stevenson, John Vargo, Erica Seville, Hlekiwe Kachali, Amy McNaughton, Felicity Powell

Resilient Organisations Research Report 2011/04

Executive Summary

The 4 September, 22 February, and 13 June earthquakes experienced in Canterbury, New Zealand would have been significant events individually. Together they present a complex and unprecedented challenge for Canterbury and New Zealand. The repetitive and protracted nature of these events has caused widespread building and infrastructure damage, strained organisations’ financial and human resources and challenged insurer and investor confidence. The impact of the earthquakes was even more damaging coming in the wake of the worst worldwide recession since the great depression of the 1930s. However, where there is disruption there is also opportunity. Businesses and other organisations will drive the physical, economic and social recovery of Canterbury, which will be a dynamic and long-term undertaking. Ongoing monitoring of the impacts, challenges and developments during the recovery is critical to maintaining momentum and making effective mid-course adjustments. This report provides a synthesis of research carried out by the Resilient Organisations (ResOrgs) Research Programme at the University of Canterbury and Recover Canterbury in collaboration with Opus Central Laboratories (part of Opus International Consultants). The report includes discussions on the general state of the economy as well as data from three surveys (two conducted by ResOrgs and one by Recover Canterbury) on business impacts of the earthquakes, population movements and related economic recovery issues.

This research and report offers two primary benefits:

  1. Comparing results following the September, February and June earthquakes allows us to identify trends and points of differentiation in the impact of these three events on Canterbury organisations.
  2. After analysing these and other data collected by Resilient Organisations and Recover Canterbury, the authors have compiled several recommendations to facilitate business and economic recovery.

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