Emergency management planning: Waimakariri District Council response and recovery planning lessons from the Canterbury earthquake of 2010 & 2011
At 4.35am on 4th September 2010, Canterbury was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. On 22nd February 2011 and 13th June 2011 a separate fault line approximately 35km from the first, ruptured to inflict two further earthquakes measuring 6.3 and 6.0 respectively. As a direct result of the February earthquake, 181 people lost their lives. Some commentators have described this series of earthquakes as the most expensive global insurance event of all time. These earthquakes and the more than 7000 associated aftershocks have had a significant physical impact on parts of Canterbury and virtually none on others. The economic, social and emotional impacts of these quakes spread across Canterbury and beyond. Waimakariri district, north of Christchurch, has reflected a similar pattern, with over 1400 houses requiring rebuild or substantial repair, millions of dollars of damage to infrastructure, and significant social issues as a result. The physical damage in Waimakiriri District was predominately in parts of Kaiapoi, and two small beach settlements, The Pines and Kairaki Beach with pockets elsewhere in the district. While the balance of the district is largely physically untouched, the economic, social, and emotional shockwaves have spread across the district. Waimakariri district consists of two main towns, Rangiora and Kaiapoi, a number of smaller urban areas and a larger rural area. It is considered mid-size in the New Zealand local government landscape. This paper will explore the actions and plans of Waimakiriri District Council (WDC) in the Emergency Management Recovery programme to provide context to allow a more detailed examination of the planning processes prior to, and subsequent to the earthquakes. This study looked at documentation produced by WDC, applicable legislation and New Zealand Emergency Management resources and other sources. Key managers and elected representatives in the WOC were interviewed, along with a selection of governmental and nongovernmental agency representatives. The interview responses enable understanding of how central Government and other local authorities can benefit from these lessons and apply them to their own planning. It is intended that this paper will assist local government organisations in New Zealand to evaluate their planning processes in light of the events of 2010/11 in Canterbury and the lessons from WDC.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsCanterbury earthquakes; Waimakariri District; emergency management; Waimakiriri District Council; planning process; local government; disaster recovery
Fields of Research1205 Urban and Regional Planning; 150312 Organisational Planning and Management; 1604 Human Geography
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