Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel say lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes will play a vital role in future emergency management planning, and should be further shared and recorded.

“Disasters on the scale of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes are rare so there have been many lessons for the Government, the Council, businesses, community groups and individuals,” Ms Wagner says.

“With that in mind, the Mayor and I have discussed rescheduling The Canterbury Earthquake Learn, Prepare, Act Symposium, originally planned for February 2017.

“We agree there should be a forum to discuss what we’ve learned and how it can inform all areas and levels of government, particularly emergency planning.”

Ms Wagner says a reflective symposium in February would have been poorly timed.

“The Government was, quite rightly, focussed on supporting Kaikoura and surrounding areas following the November quake.  We were also concerned it was too soon to effectively reflect on the entire recovery, rebuild and regeneration process.

“A lot of work has already been done to share and record a variety of quake experiences, achievements and challenges.  That information is collated on the EQ Recovery Learning website, managed by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.”

Mayor Dalziel says while no decisions have been made, 2018 would be an appropriate time to hold an event.

“This event, in whatever form it may take, would build on current initiatives to better understand and learn from our experiences, as well as safeguard the city’s preparedness and recovery processes in the event of another disaster.

“It is my intention to host a series of localised workshops on specific issues to feed in to the symposium.  This will enable us to see where there are gaps in our knowledge and whether additional research needs to be commissioned.

“We need to be open to learning from what we got right and also from what we got wrong, but in an environment which enables us to look back, not to blame but to understand.”

A Whole of Government report, which focuses on lessons from the overall government response to the Canterbury earthquakes, is due to be released before the end of July.

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