Impact Assessment for Earthquake Recovery information and resources

This site provides information about impacts of the Canterbury Earthquake on 22 February 2011, and the tools and resources available for helping to assess these impacts.

Following the Canterbury Earthquake, impact assessment can play two particular roles. One is to highlight the social, economic, environmental and health problems that follow from physical impacts. The second is to help inform decisions about reconstruction activities, both regional and local. Impact assessment focuses attention on the less obvious but often very important social, cultural and environmental consequences of proposed actions, and helps protect communities against unforeseen, adverse effects. Impact assessment looks forwards to help enhance social wellbeing.

This approach focuses on impact assessment rather than damage assessment. It builds strength and resilience in local communities by providing a framework for their input and helps to reinforce trust between communities, layers of government and decision-makers.

The approach encourages us from the start (in the weeks after the disaster) to look beyond negative social impacts such as loss of lives, homes and livelihoods (rescue and recovery) toward stronger and more resilient communities in the future (rebuild and adapt). This strategic approach encourages flexibility, aims to avoid premature or incorrect decisions, and also allows us to learn and adapt if things go wrong.

There is considerable expertise in undertaking impact assessments in New Zealand. This web page aims to assist practitioners with information and resources. If you have useful information on the impacts of the Canterbury Earthquake, and impact assessment of disasters more generally, please send the links to Dr Nick Taylor and we will add them to this site.

Police earthquake photo