Learning from Christchurch

Collected here is research on the experiences of communities in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch.

This page was collated by Community Research, Healthy Christchurch, He Oranga Pounamu, and the Christchurch Council of Social Services

Child and Youth | Community Resilience | Demographics | Disability | Elderly & Retirement | Emergency Services & Disaster Relief | EnvironmentGrants, Funding, Contracts & Fundraising | Health/ Wellbeing | Housing & Homelessness | Immigrants, Refugees & Migrants | Māori| News & Media Coverage | Non-profit organisations | Volunteering & Mahi Aroha | Women

Featured research

Child and Youth

Rebuilding Christchurch after the Earthquakes Young People’s Perspectives, 24-7 YouthWorks, 2011

Community Resilience

Christchurch resilience reading resources, Facebook page maintained by Dr Bronwyn Hayward, University of Canterbury

Community Resilience: case studies from the Canterbury earthquakes (PDF 1.33MB), Tephra, The Ministry of Civil Defence, Vol 23: November 2012

Identifying the non-structural impacts of the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence on the Hurunui District, Hurunui District Council, May 2013 (Uploaded to Community Research)

Ongoing resilience from the ground up: A relational place based approach to grassroots community resilience, by Raven Cretney. Unpublished Masters Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2013. Summary version available too. (Uploaded to Community Research)

Rethinking Resilience: Reflections on the Christchurch earthquake and aftershocks (PDF 401KB), Dr Bronwyn Hayward, presentation to ECO conference, July 2011


Monitoring population change in Greater Christchurch post EQ – resources page, James Newell, MERA Ltd


Disability-inclusive emergency preparedness and response symposium, 28-29 May 2012, includes Summary of 12 disabled people’s experiences of the earthquakes

Issues experienced by disabled people following the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake series: evidence based analysis to inform future planning and best practice guidelines for better emergency preparedness (PDF 1.1MB), by Phibbs, S R; Woodbury; E, Williamson, K J; &, Good, G A. GNS Science Report 2012/40, November 2012

Elderly and Retirement

Earthquake preparedness in an ageing society – Learning from the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes (PDF 392KB) by Judith A. Davey and Jenny Neale, Victoria University of Wellington, February 2013

Emergency Services & Disaster Relief

Developing local partners in emergency planning and management: Lyttelton Time Bank as a Builder and Mobiliser of Resources during the Canterbury Earthquakes, Lucie K. Ozanne, University of Canterbury, 2013

Grassroots Community Preparedness Plans Resource, Raven Cretney, 2013. (Uploaded to Community Research)

Leadership, wisdom and the post- disaster recovery process A report submitted to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and New Zealand Red Cross, by Elizabeth McNaughton, 2013, also see Recovery Matters blog


A Community-led, Science-informed Conversation around the Future Use of the Avon River Residential Red Zone. Vallance, S. and Tait, P, 2013. DEM, Lincoln University, PO Box 85084 available on http://hdl.handle.net/10182/5653 (Uploaded to Community Research)

Grants, Funding, Contracts & Fundraising

Todd Foundation Earthquake Recovery Fund Review (PDF xxx), 2013 includes guidelines for future disaster responses

Health/ Wellbeing

Building community resilience: Learning from the Canterbury earthquakes study (PDF, 1.8MB) for Health Research Council and Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, by Louise Thornley, Jude Ball, Louise Signal, Keri Lawson-Te Aho, and Emma Rawson, Quigley and Watts, 2013 (Uploaded to Community Research)

The CERA Wellbeing Survey 2012 Report (PDF 4.3MB), (October 2012), see also http://cera.govt.nz/wellbeing-survey

Living on the Fringes: A report on the issues and perceptions of residents near the Red Zones (PDF 17MB), by Jarrod Gilbert & Ben Elley, with maps by Mathew Hughes, for Nga Maata Waka & Edmund Rice Justice, 2013

A Summary of the Greater Christchurch Wellbeing Communication Campaign Research Findings (PDF 881KB), Healthy Christchurch, Canterbury DHB and Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, April 2013

The relationships of geographical variations in health outcomes and earthquake impact, by Simon Kingham, University of Canterbury, 2012 (Uploaded to Community Research)

Housing & Homelessness

Post-Disaster Mobilities: Exploring Household Relocation after the Canterbury Earthquakes, Dickinson, S, 2013.  Unpublished Masters dissertation, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. (Uploaded to Community Research

TPA (CHCH) Rental Survey 2013: A Study of Increasing Rents and Housing Conditions in the Greater Christchurch Area, by Tennants Protection Association (Christchurch), 2013 (Uploaded to Community Research)

Immigrants, Refugees & Migrants

Best Practice Guidelines for Engaging with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities in Times of Disaster: Findings of Action Research for Circulation to CALD communities, by Sarah Wylie (independent researcher), for Christchurch City Council, March 2012

Lessons learned following the earthquakes of 22 February 2011, Christchurch Migrant Inter-Agency Group


Impacts on Māori of the Ōtautahi/Christchurch earthquakes, by Dr Simon Lambert, Ngati Ruapani, Tuhoe, Lincoln University working paper, updated 2013

Indigenous resilience through urban disaster: The Māori response to the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch Otautahi earthquakes, by Lambert, S, Mark-Shadbolt, M, Ataria, J & Black, A, paper in Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga International Indigenous Research Development Conference Proceedings, 201

Indigenous Communities, Disasters, and Disaster Research: Surviving Disaster Research On, With and By Maori Lambert, S., (2014). Paper presented to ANZTSR 2014 Conference, Christchurch.

News and Media Coverage

Marae lead the way for Christchurch earthquake recovery, press release from Public Health Foundation, 17 September 2013

The tribes that bind Christchurch, article by Olivia Carville and Anna Turner, The Press, 7 September 2013

Research suggests better to deal with problems than avoid them, University Canterbury, 2 July 2013

Research supports limiting food outlets in Christchurch rebuild, University Canterbury, 2 July 2013

Research Finds Significant Problems Remain After Quakes, Edmund Rice Justice and Nga Maata Waka, 24 June 2013

‘Virtuous circle’ helps Christchurch communities recover from earthquakes, story by Health Research Council, 15 March 2013

Wellbeing research paints a complex picture, press release from Healthy Christchurch, 15 April 2013

Non-profit Sector

An Inventory of Community-led and Non-governmental Organisations and Initiatives in Post-earthquake Canterbury, Carlton, S. and Vallance, S. 2013. Lincoln University.  (Uploaded to Community Research

Glimpses of a better world: The role of tangata whenua, community & voluntary sector in the Canterbury earthquake recovery, by Garth Nowland-Foreman for Council of Social Services in Christchurch (Uploaded to Community Research)

Ministry of Social Development Summer Scholarship Report for Family and Community Services, Canterbury (PDF 3.29MB), nine papers prepared by senior University of Canterbury students on MSD summer scholarships, March 2013

Supporting Community Resilience In Post-Quake Christchurch (PDF 225KB), by Sharon Torstonson, Council of Social Services in Christchurch, and Michelle Whitaker Healthy Christchurch, July 2011 (Uploaded to Community Research)

ANZTSR 2014 Third Sector Organisations and Earthquake Recovery Planning in Christchurch, New Zealand  Hutton, N.S., Tobin, G.A., & Whiteford, L.M., (2014). Paper presented to ANZTSR 2014 Conference.

Volunteering & Mahi Aroha

Disaster Recovery and Volunteers: Literature Review of Best Practice – October 2012 (PDF 152KB), by LeeChin Heng, University of Canterbury, October 2012

Volunteering Canterbury’s Survey of Member Organisations 2011, Volunteering Canterbury, 2011 (Uploaded to Community Research)


Building back better: Utilising women’s labour in the Canterbury recovery (PDF 6.6MB), a research report by Research First for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, August 2013. See also Building back better media release

Women’s Voices: Recording women’s experiences of the Canterbury earthquakes, NCW Christchurch Branch

Movers and Shakers : Women’s stories from the Christchurch earthquakes (final version) Gordon, L; Sutherland, J; DuPlessis, R and Gibson, H.


Community Research is providing this page in conjunction with Healthy Christchurch, Council of Social Services in Christchurch – Te Kaunihera Kaupapa Oranga ki Otautahi and He Oranga Pounamu.

We would also like to acknowledge offers of help from many people working in communities.

Pictured above is part of the relief effort taken by the Farmy Army, © The Press. The photo below is of a Container Love installation, by Christchurch Public Library. .

Shipping container snuggly encased in a MASSIVE, colourful container cosy, sitting on street.