Wellington after the Quake: The Challenge of Rebuilding Cities
The Wellington after the Quake conference sought to answer the questions faced by everyone in authority when cities commence recovery after a disaster: What happens next? What do I do now? I proposed the conference within the Earthquake Commission (EQC), both to provide background for our own disaster management planning and to assist public and private planning for disaster recovery. All other government agencies or departments, local authority councils, businesses, or large organisations that face severe damage in a disaster need to plan their recovery. In order to do so, they, like EQC, need a basis for their planning. The conference set out such a basis by identifying the problems sure to be faced and by indicating possible solutions based on world and New Zealand experience. Much of the planning in the public sector relating to disasters has focused on the response phase — people’s needs immediately after a disaster. So, too, with businesses, disaster recovery planning has focused on ways of getting the business up and running immediately, somewhere, somehow. Neither has dealt to any extent with the longer-term recovery from a disaster, including reconstruction of facilities, rebuilding of communities, and rebuilding of organisations. This conference brought together world and New Zealand authorities, with academic and technical expertise and with practical experience. The conference concentrated on Wellington, but by bringing to bear the best knowledge from around the world, its results are applicable to many cities around the world. The insights from this conference should be of value in every city that faces a risk of natural disaster. The conference was substantially supported by major sponsors, who are listed on page iii. The Earthquake Commission thanks the sponsors on its own behalf and on behalf of all those who attended the conference. Thanks are also due to the members of the organising committees for their invaluable help in making the conference a success.