Volume 23, Number 2

Contents - Volume 23, Number 2

Published December 2019
Volume 23, Number 2 (complete issue)

Contents page - Volume 23, Number 2



Pathways to Earthquake Resilience: Learning from past events

Lauren J. Vinnell, Caroline Orchiston, Julia Becker, & David Johnston

Keywords: Earthquake, resilience, research, practice, New Zealand

To be more prepared for future hazard events, learnings from past events must be identified, shared, and applied. This task does not belong solely to either practice or academia but requires a collaborative approach. In line with this goal, this special issue presents a combination of empirical research papers, research updates, and practice updates which contribute to knowledge of the impacts and outcomes of the M7.8 14th November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake in Aotearoa New Zealand, focusing particularly on lessons for the capital city of Wellington. The main focuses are how the event affected the thoughts and behaviours of Wellington residents; how organizations can improve their operation during disruptive events; and using collaborative, multi-sector approaches to identify how resilience can be understood and demonstrated. The title “Pathways to Earthquake Resilience” reflects the nature of the papers included in this special issue, bringing focus to the ways in which various sectors and disciplines can contribute to increasing resilience to earthquakes by implementing the lessons learned from past events.


Research Papers

Risk judgments and social norms: Do they relate to preparedness after the Kaikōura earthquakes

John McClure, Millie Ferrick, Liv Henrich, & David Johnston

Keywords: Earthquake, risk perception, norms, preparedness, optimism

Research has shown that preparation for natural hazard events reflects several factors including risk judgments and the cost of the actions. Research has also shown the effects of norms in other domains but very little research regarding natural hazards. This study examined risk judgments and preparedness norms following the recent Kaikōura earthquake. Wellington citizens judged the risk of earthquakes in Wellington, Kaikōura, and other parts of New Zealand (“elsewhere”) before and after the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. They also reported their preparation and perception of norms for different categories of actions. Judgments of the risk of a further earthquake occurring following the Kaikōura earthquake rose more for Kaikōura than for Wellington and elsewhere, but participants still judged an earthquake more likely in Wellington and elsewhere than in Kaikōura. Preparation was positively related to risk judgment and to the judgment that preparing was normative, particularly for survival actions. These findings suggest that normative information adds to the effect of risk perceptions about the probability of an earthquake to enhance preparation for these hazards. This finding can be applied in risk communications for earthquakes and other hazards by referencing norms for adaptive behaviours.

The impact of the Kaikōura earthquake on risk-related behaviour, perceptions, and social norm

Lauren J. Vinnell, Taciano L. Milfont, & John McClure

Keywords: Earthquake, New Zealand, natural experiment, earthquake preparation, social norms

The unpredictability of earthquakes poses a significant challenge to examining and understanding the effects of these events on risk-related perceptions and behaviour. Natural experiments, a type of quasi-experimental method, allow for close approximations of treatment-control designs when data collection and earthquake events coincide. This study reports one such natural experiment, testing the effect of the November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake on risk perception, perceived norms, and preparation among residents of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. Additionally, this research tested whether previously demonstrated effects of social norm messaging on support for recent legislation for strengthening earthquake-prone buildings was weaker following the event. As expected, earthquake preparation and concern were higher after the earthquake. Social norm effects were weaker after the earthquake but did not disappear entirely; these effects therefore appear to be relatively robust even to significant events, supporting the use of social norms in earthquake-related messaging.

From physical disruption to community impact: modelling a Wellington Fault earthquake

Charlotte Brown, Garry McDonald, S. R. Uma, Nicky Smith, Vinod Sadashiva, Rob Buxton, Emily Grace, Erica Seville, & Michelle Daly

Keywords: Disaster impact, socio-economic modelling, disaster recovery, Wellington Fault earthquake

Modelling the economic impact of an earthquake event provides a means to support decision-making for investment options to improve disaster preparedness. Quantification of economic impact requires a comprehensive understanding of how damage to physical assets such as buildings and infrastructure networks translates into disruption to, and impact on, communities and businesses. This paper describes how a scenario narrative was developed as an essential prerequisite for an ex-ante economic assessment of a Wellington Fault event in Aotearoa New Zealand. The approach begins with the development of a suite of infrastructure asset damage and restoration maps, which account for infrastructure interdependencies. This data is then translated, based on expert elicitation processes, into a range of post-earthquake behaviours including population displacement, business disruption and relocation, and tourism effects. Lastly, these behaviours are set up as inputs for a novel economic model that captures out-of-equilibrium dynamics and behavioural adaptation. This narrative, alongside the economic modelling component, has been used to support decision-making around regional infrastructure resilience investment.


Research updates

Disaster resilience in Wellington’s hotel sector: Research update and summary

Nancy A. Brown, Jane E. Rovins, Caroline Orchiston, Shirley Feldmann-Jensen, & David Johnston

Keywords: Tourism, resilience, capital, hotels, disaster

Summarizing a research project exploring disaster resilience in the hotel sector, this update provides highlights of the different research components and presents a summary of findings. Disaster resilience in the hotel sector is studied from a mixed methods approach to develop the Disaster Resilience Framework for Hotels (DRFH). The DRFH uses a six capital (economic, social, human, physical, natural, and cultural) model to define predictors of disaster resilience for hotels. Exploration of the predictors within the DRFH uses survey data, semi-structured interviews, and secondary data to examine not only the framework but also lessons learned by Wellington hotels from the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. Strengths for the studied hotels include social networks, economic fortitude, building standard compliance, and a developing culture of safety. Identified gaps for future emphasis include a need to approach disaster management from a multi-hazard perspective and integrate staff in disaster management planning.

Business recovery from disaster: A research update for practitioners

Elora Kay, Charlotte Brown, Tracy Hatton, Joanne R. Stevenson, Erica Seville, & John Vargo

Keywords: Business recovery, organisational resilience, disasters, disaster recovery

In the week following the Darfield magnitude 7.1 earthquake on September 4th 2010, researchers from the Resilient Organisations research group convened in Christchurch to set out a plan for learning as much as possible about the effects of the earthquake on organisations across their shaken region. This began a six-year process of data collection, analysis, and learning about the way organisations are affected by, adapt to, and recover from major disruptions. Between November 2010 and September 2016, our research team interviewed and surveyed over 1000 organisations across the Canterbury region through a series of earthquakes and disruptions, building a broad and rich dataset of insights that can now help other organisations facing disruptions in the future. In this article, we identify the top ten lessons for managing through crisis, being agile and adaptive in the face of change, and finding opportunities in disruption based on the experiences of real organisations. The lessons learned in the Canterbury event can inform resilience enhancement for the many organisations facing complex hazard risks, including those in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington.


Practice updates

Wellington City’s response to the November 2016 Kaikōura earthquake

Simon Fleisher

Keywords: Civil Defence, emergency management, disaster response, Kaikōura earthquake

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck near Kaikōura township, New Zealand, on the 14th of November 2016 causing widespread damage and disruption. In the worst-affected areas (including Wellington City), Civil Defence and Emergency Management response organisations activated for extended periods of time to ensure safety and provide welfare support to affected people. The main priorities included taking charge of response efforts while collaborating with the emergency services and lifeline utilities. This ensured public safety, welfare support, and early preparation for the transition to recovery. In Wellington, approximately 80 buildings within the central business district were damaged, including the port area which suffered liquefaction. The overall cost of repairs, including insured losses to the city’s buildings, infrastructure, and economy was approximately NZ$2 to 3 billion. Repairs will take many years to complete. However, feedback from lifeline utilities suggested that most services were not severely affected, except for the port. Roads, electricity, potable water, sewerage, and communications were the critical priorities for restoration. Despite ongoing remediation programmes, the Wellington region’s infrastructure (including Wellington City) remains vulnerable to the effects of a future large earthquake.

Wellington Resilience workshop: Creating shared ideas and meanings

Nancy A. Brown, Emily Campbell, David Johnston, Helen McCracken, Sophie Bradley, Scott Dray, & Dan Neely

Keywords: Resilience, culture, community, co-creation, participatory

Co-creation of knowledge is an important method for developing policy and programmes in the disaster space. A workshop that engaged attendees in a highly participatory format was designed to further institutional, academic, and community knowledge acquisition objectives regarding cultural and community resilience by Aotearoa New Zealand’s QuakeCoRE Flagship Programme 5. The workshop, which took place in Wellington, New Zealand, in June 2018, brought together members of disaster management organisations and academia, community members, and members of local and central government in a full day of learnings and activities. The aim was co-creation of knowledge in defining cultural and community resilience as well as developing a shared understanding of how to integrate resilience programmes that are meaningful and appropriate for communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The contribution of the workshop to the existing literature concerning the role of culture in disasters, beyond the co-creation model, includes a need to emphasise cultural activities during disaster recovery, the value of improving collaboration between stakeholders such as iwi, hapū, and marae (parts of the indigenous Māori community) in disaster management planning, and the importance of understanding local motivations and needs within our communities when designing and building disaster resilience programmes.

Operationalising theory-informed practice: Developing resilience indicators for Wellington, Aotearoa
New Zealand

Elora Kay, Joanne R. Stevenson, Julia Becker, Emma Hudson-Doyle, Lucy Carter, Emily Campbell, Sam Ripley, David Johnston, Dan Neely, & Chris Bowie

Keywords: Resilience measurement, operationalisation, knowledge co-production, top-down and bottom-up assessment

Moving resilience thinking from theory to practice has been a national and international strategic imperative over the last decade. An ongoing collaboration between the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) and researchers associated with the International Research on Disaster Risk’s International Centre of Excellence in Community Resilience (ICoE: CR) and Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (RNC) Kia manawaroa – Ngā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa National Science Challenge made progress towards operationalising theory-informed practice for disaster resilience measurement in the Wellington Region of Aotearoa New Zealand. Between 2014 and 2018, researchers, WREMO, and other key stakeholders engaged in a multi-stage co-learning process, including defining resilience, determining the measurement focus, and identifying measurable indicators. The process merged bottom-up and top-down resilience indicator identification and selection methods. This resulted in 10 resilience indicators that both link to national and international policy and meet the strategic, regional needs of WREMO.


All papers are protected under the Creative Commons attribution as per our copyright notice.

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