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Recovery and Development: Perspectives from New Zealand and Australia


Paton, D and Johnston, D and Mamula-Seadon, L and Kenney, CM, Recovery and Development: Perspectives from New Zealand and Australia, Disaster and Development: Examining Global Issues and Cases, Springer, N Kapucu, KT Liou (ed), New York, pp. 255-272. ISBN 9783319044675 (2014) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Springer International Publishing

DOI: doi:10.1007/978-3-319-04468-2_15


The objective of this chapter is to contribute to understanding natural hazard resilience by examining people's experience of recovery from the consequences of significant natural hazard events. The content is based on research on the 2009 Victoria, Australia bushfires and work by the authors on the 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake. In Christchurch, focus group interviews were conducted in each of five affected suburbs in July 2011. These data were complemented with that from twenty individual in-depth interviews. The timing of data collection allowed assessment of recovery experience from both the February earthquake and a significant aftershock in June 2011.

These analyses were also used to test the validity of a community engagement based theory of resilience developed empirically in New Zealand. This theory, based on the concept of empowerment, developed a multi-level approach to operationalizing resilience expressed in terms of the complementary relationships that exist between empowered people and communities (assessed by, for example, self-efficacy, community participation, collective efficacy, and place attachment) and social/agency settings that empower people (assessed using empowerment and trust). While empirical support for this theory was forthcoming, examining people's recovery experience can be used to validate the theory and identify how it can be developed. If people's accounts of their experience corroborate theoretical conceptualizations of resilience, this would increase the utility of theory as a guide for resilience assessment and planning for future events.

This chapter examines three issues. The first discusses people's accounts of what they had to contend with and how they responded to the disruption and challenges encountered. This discussion identified differences between community groups with regard to how well they responded to these challenges. Consequently, the second issue explored concerns identifying how individual and community variability in adaptive capacities contribute to explaining differences in the reported effectiveness of community recovery activities. The third issue addressed concerns the relationship between recovery and development and discusses how lessons learned from these events are facilitating development in communities that can expect to face hazard events in the future. Discussion of these issues commences with an overview of events that have changed Australian and New Zealand approaches to DRR and post-disaster development.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Christchurch earthquake, community recovery
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Social psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Paton, D (Professor Douglas Paton)
ID Code:97567
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-12-23
Last Modified:2015-05-21

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