Media Releases

Lessons being learnt from Canterbury

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 14:45
Greater Christchurch Regeneration

An ongoing focus on the whole of government response to the Canterbury earthquakes will prove invaluable for the New Zealand’s future resilience against natural disasters, Ministers Gerry Brownlee and Nicky Wagner say.

The decision has been made to hold off on the Canterbury Earthquake ‘Learn, Prepare, Act’ Symposium, scheduled for February 2017.

“We’ve already seen a lot of the learnings from Canterbury being practically applied to the November 14 earthquake response but, as with everything, there is room for improvement and, as Acting Civil Defence Minister, I’ve been clear about this from the start,” Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee says.

“The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Learning and Legacy project team within the Greater Christchurch Group has collated various reports, case studies and new tools on a purpose-built website.

“The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management – within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – will continue to contribute to this online resource.

“A whole of government report to reflect on lessons learnt by the Canterbury earthquakes has been commissioned and is expected to be received in the first quarter of next year.

“The learnings will cover the government’s broad response to the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, including emergency legislation, the horizontal infrastructure programme, insurance response and land decisions.

“This decision to delay the symposium was made prior to the November 14 earthquake but I believe this recent event reinforces the reasoning behind it.

“Many positive aspects of the Canterbury regeneration are ongoing, including anchor projects and the beginning of the future use decisions around the residential red zone land, which includes the Port Hills.

“Meanwhile, in the wake of the most recent earthquakes, it’s not the right time to reflect on one major natural disaster, while the government is responding to another,” Mr Brownlee says.

Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says she wants to thank the team for their work, as well as the organisations and individuals who have contributed to date.

“With the exciting regeneration phase ahead, February 2017 isn’t the best time to present the full scope of learnings from the Canterbury earthquakes.

“There may be an opportunity to showcase some of the work undertaken at the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction forum in Mexico next year.

“I want people to feel reassured that this government remains committed to learning from the Canterbury earthquakes,” Mrs Wagner says.

The EQ Recovery Learning website can be found here.