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Articles, Christchurch uncovered

When people first settled in Aotearoa, they had no idea that they were sitting upon a slice of one of two supercontinents; Gondwanaland. Around eighty-three million years ago this slice we now live on, known to us as Zealandia, broke … Continue reading →

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Depending on their nature and severity, disasters can create large volumes of debris and waste. Waste volumes from a single event can be the equivalent of many times the annual waste generation rate of the affected community. These volumes can overwhelm existing solid waste management facilities and personnel. Mismanagement of disaster waste can affect both the response and long term recovery of a disaster affected area. Previous research into disaster waste management has been either context specific or event specific, making it difficult to transfer lessons from one disaster event to another. The aim of this research is to develop a systems understanding of disaster waste management and in turn develop context- and disaster-transferrable decision-making guidance for emergency and waste managers. To research this complex and multi-disciplinary problem, a multi-hazard, multi-context, multi-case study approach was adopted. The research focussed on five major disaster events: 2011 Christchurch earthquake, 2009 Victorian Bushfires, 2009 Samoan tsunami, 2009 L’Aquila earthquake and 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The first stage of the analysis involved the development of a set of ‘disaster & disaster waste’ impact indicators. The indicators demonstrate a method by which disaster managers, planners and researchers can simplify the very large spectra of possible disaster impacts, into some key decision-drivers which will likely influence post-disaster management requirements. The second stage of the research was to develop a set of criteria to represent the desirable environmental, economic, social and recovery effects of a successful disaster waste management system. These criteria were used to assess the effectiveness of the disaster waste management approaches for the case studies. The third stage of the research was the cross-case analysis. Six main elements of disaster waste management systems were identified and analysed. These were: strategic management, funding mechanisms, operational management, environmental and human health risk management, and legislation and regulation. Within each of these system elements, key decision-making guidance (linked to the ‘disaster & disaster waste’ indicators) and management principles were developed. The ‘disaster & disaster waste’ impact indicators, the effects assessment criteria and management principles have all been developed so that they can be practically applied to disaster waste management planning and response in the future.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Programme interventions for people who have experienced natural disasters are limited. To investigate whether Group Teen Positive Parenting (GTPPP) programme promoted family functioning in the aftermath of disaster, 14 parents and nine adolescents, self-reported measures of family functioning and adjustment prior to and after the intervention. It was found that GTPPP enhanced parenting competence, parental wellbeing, decreased conflict between parents and their adolescents. These findings suggest that GTPPP may provide a practical way of supporting families after a natural disaster.

Research papers, Lincoln University

Increasingly, economic, political and human crises, along with natural disasters, constitute a recurrent reality around the world. The effect of large-scale disaster and economic disruption are being felt far and wide and impacting libraries in diverse ways. Libraries are casualties of natural disasters, from earthquakes to hurricanes, as well as civil unrest and wars. Sudden cuts in library budgets have resulted in severe staff reductions, privatization and even closures. The presenters share their experiences about how they have prepared for or coped with profound change.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

This report examines and compares case studies of labour market policy responses in APEC economies to natural disasters. It first reviews the policies and practice within APEC economies and internationally in managing the labour market effects of natural disasters. By using comparative case studies, the report then compares recent disaster events in the Asia-Pacific region, including: - the June 2013 Southern Alberta floods in Canada; - the 2010 and 2011 Queensland floods in Australia; - the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes in New Zealand; - the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan; and - the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Recycling is often employed as part of a disaster waste management system. However, the feasibility, method and effectiveness of recycling varies between disaster events. This qualitative study is based on literature reviews, expert interviews and active participatory research of five international disaster events in developed countries (2009 Victorian Bushfires, Australia; 2009 L’Aquila earthquake, Italy; 2005 Hurricane Katrina, United States; 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, New Zealand; 2011 Great East Japan earthquake) to answer three questions: What are the main factors that affect the feasibility of recycling post-disaster? When is on-site or off-site separation more effective? What management approaches improve recycling effectiveness? Seven disaster-specific factors need to be assessed to determine the feasibility of disaster waste recycling programmes: volume of waste; degree of mixing of waste; human and environmental health hazards; areal extent of the waste; community priorities; funding mechanisms; and existing and disaster-specific regulations. The appropriateness of on or off-site waste separation depends on four factors: time constraints; resource availability; degree of mixing of waste and human and public health hazards. Successful recycling programmes require good management including clear and well enforced policies (through good contracts or regulations) and pre-event planning. Further research into post-disaster recycling markets, funding mechanisms and recycling in developing countries is recommended.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Disasters can create the equivalent of 20 years of waste in only a few days. Disaster waste can have direct impacts on public health and safety, and on the environment. The management of such waste has a great direct cost to society in terms of labor, equipment, processing, transport and disposal. Disaster waste management also has indirect costs, in the sense that slow management can slow down a recovery, greatly affecting the ability of commerce and industry to re-start. In addition, a disaster can lead to the disruption of normal solid waste management systems, or result in inappropriate management that leads to expensive environmental remediation. Finally, there are social impacts implicit in disaster waste management decisions because of psychological impact we expect when waste is not cleared quickly or is cleared too quickly. The paper gives an overview of the challenge of disaster waste management, examining issues of waste quantity and composition; waste treatment; environmental, economic, and social impacts; health and safety matters; and planning. Christchurch, New Zealand, and the broader region of Canterbury were impacted during this research by a series of shallow earthquakes. This has led to the largest natural disaster emergency in New Zealand’s history, and the management of approximately 8 million tons of building and infrastructure debris has become a major issue. The paper provides an overview of the status of disaster waste management in Christchurch as a case study. A key conclusion is the vital role of planning in effective disaster waste management. In spite of the frequency of disasters, in most countries the ratio of time spent on planning for disaster waste management to the time spent on normal waste management is extremely low. Disaster waste management also requires improved education or training of those involved in response efforts. All solid waste professionals have a role to play to respond to the challenges of disaster waste management.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

The 1995 book, “Wellington after the quake: the challenge of rebuilding cities”, is reviewed in light of the 2010/2011 Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquakes. Lessons are drawn related to the difficulties of recovery of complex infrastructure systems after disasters.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Two projects are documented within this MEM Report: I. The first project examined what was learnt involving the critical infrastructure in the aftermath of natural disasters in the Canterbury region of New Zealand – the most prominent being the series of earthquakes between 2010 and 2011. The project identified several learning gaps, leading to recommendations for further investigations that could add significant value for the lifeline infrastructure community. II. Following the Lifeline Lesson Learnt Project, the Disaster Mitigation Guideline series was initiated with two booklets, one on Emergency Potable Water and a second on Emergency Sanitation. The key message from both projects is that we can and must learn from disasters. The projects described are part of the emergency management, and critical infrastructure learning cycles – presenting knowledge captured by others in a digestible format, enabling the lessons to be reapplied. Without these kinds of projects, there will be fewer opportunities to learn from other’s successes and failures when it comes to preparing for natural disasters.

Research papers, Victoria University of Wellington

The standard way in which disaster damages are measured involves examining separately the number of fatalities, of injuries, of people otherwise affected, and the financial damage that natural disasters cause. Here, we implement a novel way to aggregate these separate measures of disaster impact and apply it to two recent catastrophic events: the Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquakes and the Greater Bangkok (Thailand) floods of 2011. This new measure, which is similar to the World Health Organization’s calculation of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost from the burden of diseases and injuries, is described in detail in Noy (2014). It allows us to conclude that New Zealand lost 180 thousand lifeyears as a result of the 2011 events, and Thailand lost 2,644 thousand years. In per capita terms, the loss is similar, with both countries losing about 15 days per person due to the 2011 catastrophic events in these two countries. We also compare these events to other potentially similar events.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

This study explored the experiences of 10 leaders in their intentional six-month implementation, during the 2010-2011Christchurch earthquakes, of an adapted positive leadership model. The study concluded that the combination of strategies in the model provided psychological and participative safety for leaders to learn and to apply new ways of working. Contrary to other studies on natural disaster, workplace performance increased and absenteeism decreased. The research contributes new knowledge to the positive leadership literature and new understanding, from the perspective of leaders, of the challenges of leading in a workplace environment of ongoing natural disaster events.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have shone the spotlight on a number of tax issues. These issues, and in particular lessons learned from them, will be relevant for revenue authorities, policymakers and taxpayers alike in the broader context of natural disasters. Issues considered by this paper include the tax treatment of insurance monies. For example, building owners will receive pay-outs for destroyed assets and buildings which have been depreciated. Where the insurance payment is more than the adjusted tax value, there will be a taxable "gain on sale" (or depreciation recovery income). If the building owner uses those insurance proceeds to purchase a replacement asset, legislative amendments specifically enacted following the earthquakes provide that rollover relief of the depreciation recovery income is available. The tax treatment of expenditure to seismically strengthen a building is another significant issue faced by building owners. Case law has determined that this expenditure will usually be capital expenditure. In the past such costs could be capitalised to the building and depreciated accordingly. However, since the 2011-2012 income year owners have been prohibited from claiming depreciation on buildings and therefore currently no deduction is available for such strengthening expenditure (whether immediate or deferred). This has significant potential implications for landlords throughout New Zealand facing significant seismic retrofit costs. Incentives, or some form of financial support, whether delivered through the tax system or some other mechanism may be required. International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) require insurance proceeds, including reimbursement for expenditure of a capital nature, be reported as income while expenditure itself is not recorded as a current period expense. This has the effect of overstating current income and creating a larger variation between reported income for accounting and taxation purposes. Businesses have obligations to maintain certain business records for tax purposes. Reconstructing records destroyed by a natural disaster depends on how the information was originally stored. The earthquakes have demonstrated the benefits of ‘off-site’ (outside Canterbury) storage, in particular electronic storage. This paper considers these issues and the Inland Revenue Department (Inland Revenue) Standard Practice Statement which deals with inter alia retention of business records in electronic format and offshore record storage. Employer provided accommodation is treated as income to the benefitting employee. A recent amendment to the Income Tax Act 2007 retrospectively provides that certain employer provided accommodation is exempt from tax. The time aspect of these rules is extended where the employee is involved in the Canterbury rebuild and comes from outside the region.

Research papers, Victoria University of Wellington

Natural disasters are often unpredictable and are happening frequently. Some natural disasters cause damage to communities, resulting in displaced individuals. Due to this there is a need for shelter, however, there are many unknown factors. These include unknown demographics, a strain on time, cost, and resources, and the unknown location. This study begins by identifying a lack of identity and personality in existing post-disaster shelter designs, including the example of Linwood Park from the Christchurch 2011 earthquake. Further research shows the lack of personalisation within shelters, along with addressing key requirements needed for shelters. While providing the basic needs is essential, this thesis also addresses how personalisation can impact a space. Taking bach architecture as a driver for a basic, yet unique approach to temporary accommodation, Lake Clearwater Settlement was used as a case study. Through surveys, interviews, and a reflective design process, the importance of embracing identity emerges as a key element in fostering dignity, livelihood, and a sense of self in displaced individuals.This thesis explores innovative approaches to post-disaster shelter design with a focus on accommodating the unique needs and individuality of displaced individuals. From challenging conventional shelter concepts to embracing self-design and community involvement, the research addresses the question of how interior and exterior features can cater to the diverse requirements of those affected by natural disasters.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

This literature review uses research informed by disasters including the Christchurch Earthquakes, Hurricane Katrina, Red River floods, War in Israel and natural disasters in Indonesia to identify key aspects within teacher-student relationships which result in an increase in the emotional stability of our students. These aspects include prior knowledge of students and their development, psycho-social interventions and incorporation of the disaster into the curriculum. Teacher-student relationships are highlighted as vital to a child’s healing and resilience after experiencing disaster trauma.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Earthquakes impacting on the built environment can generate significant volumes of waste, often overwhelming existing waste management capacities. Earthquake waste can pose a public and environmental health hazard and can become a road block on the road to recovery. Specific research has been developed at the University of Canterbury to go beyond the current perception of disaster waste as a logistical hurdle, to a realisation that disaster waste management is part of the overall recovery process and can be planned for effectively. Disaster waste decision-makers, often constrained by inappropriate institutional frameworks, are faced with conflicting social, economic and environmental drivers which all impact on the overall recovery. Framed around L’Aquila earthquake, Italy, 2009, this paper discusses the social, economic and environmental effects of earthquake waste management and the impact of existing institutional frameworks (legal, financial and organisational). The paper concludes by discussing how to plan for earthquake waste management.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

The timeliness and quality of recovery activities are impacted by the organisation and human resourcing of the physical works. This research addresses the suitability of different resourcing strategies on post-disaster demolition and debris management programmes. This qualitative analysis primarily draws on five international case studies including 2010 Canterbury earthquake, 2009 L’Aquila earthquake, 2009 Samoan Tsunami, 2009 Victorian Bushfires and 2005 Hurricane Katrina. The implementation strategies are divided into two categories: collectively and individually facilitated works. The impacts of the implementation strategies chosen are assessed for all disaster waste management activities including demolition, waste collection, transportation, treatment and waste disposal. The impacts assessed include: timeliness, completeness of projects; and environmental, economic and social impacts. Generally, the case studies demonstrate that detritus waste removal and debris from major repair work is managed at an individual property level. Debris collection, demolition and disposal are generally and most effectively carried out as a collective activity. However, implementation strategies are affected by contextual factors (such as funding and legal constraints) and the nature of the disaster waste (degree of hazardous waste, geographical spread of waste etc.) and need to be designed accordingly. Community involvement in recovery activities such as demolition and debris removal is shown to contribute positively to psychosocial recovery.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Disaster recovery is significantly affected by funding availability. The timeliness and quality of recovery activities are not only impacted by the extent of the funding but also the mechanisms with which funding is prioritised, allocated and delivered. This research addresses the impact of funding mechanisms on the effectiveness and efficiency of post-disaster demolition and debris management programmes. A qualitative assessment of the impacts on recovery of different funding sources and mechanisms was carried out, using the 2010 Canterbury Earthquake as well as other recent international events as case studies. The impacts assessed include: timeliness, completeness, environmental, economic and social impacts. Of the case studies investigated, the Canterbury Earthquake was the only disaster response to rely solely on a privatised approach to insurance for debris management. Due to the low level of resident displacement and low level of hazard in the waste, this was a satisfactory approach, though not ideal. This approach has led to greater organisational complexity and delays. For many other events, the potential community wide impacts caused by the prolonged presence of disaster debris means that publicly funded and centrally facilitated programmes appear to be the most common and effective method of managing disaster waste.

Research papers, Victoria University of Wellington

A natural disaster will inevitably strike New Zealand in the coming years, damaging educational facilities. Delays in building quality replacement facilities will lead to short-term disruption of education, risking long-term inequalities for the affected students. The Christchurch earthquake demonstrated the issues arising from a lack of school planning and support. This research proposes a system that can effectively provide rapid, prefabricated, primary schools in post-disaster environments. The aim is to continue education for children in the short term, while using construction that is suitable until the total replacement of the given school is completed. The expandable prefabricated architecture meets the strength, time, and transport requirements to deliver a robust, rapid relief temporary construction. It is also adaptable to any area within New Zealand. This design solution supports personal well-being and mitigates the risk of educational gaps, PTSD linked with anxiety and depression, and many other mental health disorders that can impact students and teachers after a natural disaster.

Research papers, Lincoln University

When a tragedy occurs of local or national scale throughout the world a memorial is often built to remember the victims, and to keep the tragedy fresh in the minds of generations with the conviction that this must not be repeated. Memorials to commemorate natural disasters very to the objective of a human induced tragedy in that future catastrophic events that affect the lives and livelihood of many citizens are sure to reoccur in countries that are geographically pre-disposed to the ravages of nature. This thesis examines memorial sites as case studies in New Zealand and Japan to explore the differences in how these two countries memorialise earthquakes, and tsunamis in the case of Japan, and whether there are lessons that each could learn from each other. In so doing, it draws largely on scholarly literature written about memorials commemorating war as little is written on memorials that respond to natural disasters. Visited case sites in both countries are analysed through multiple qualitative research methods with a broad view of what constitutes a memorial when the landscape is changed by the devastation of a natural disaster. How communities prepare for future events through changes in planning legislation, large scale infrastructure, tourism and preparedness for personal safety are issues addressed from the perspective of landscape architecture through spatial commemorative places. The intentions and meanings of memorials may differ but in the case of a memorial of natural disaster there is a clear message that is common to all. To reduce the severity of the number of deaths and level of destruction, education and preparedness for future events is a key aim of memorials and museums.

Research papers, Victoria University of Wellington

We estimate the causal effects of a large unanticipated natural disaster on high schoolers’ university enrolment decisions and subsequent medium-term labour market outcomes. Using national administrative data after a destructive earthquake in New Zealand, we estimate that the disaster raises tertiary education enrolment of recent high school graduates by 6.1 percentage points. The effects are most pronounced for males, students who are academically weak relative to their peers, and students from schools directly damaged by the disaster. As relatively low ability males are overrepresented in sectors of the labour market helped by the earthquake, greater demand for university may stem from permanent changes in deeper behavioural parameters such as risk aversion or time preference, rather than as a coping response to poor economic opportunities.