On the second anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake, Christchurch will host an international disaster communication symposium.
The two-day conference, Disasters - Communicating in the Crisis and Aftermath, will see discussion on the challenges of communicating science during disasters, including quakes and tsunamis, and agricultural disease outbreaks.
Phil Johnstone, president of the Science Communicators' Association of New Zealand, which is organising the conference, said the aim was to attract up to 250 delegates, including about 150 from overseas.
"We hope this event will make a small but nonetheless helpful contribution to the economic recovery of Christchurch,'' he said.
"Holding the conference on the second anniversary of the devastating February 22, 2011, quake will add a poignant dimension to the symposium, and our programme will include opportunities for reflection and remembrance.
"Sadly, New Zealand has experienced several significant natural and man-made disasters in recent years.
''As a result, we have a number of experienced people able to share insights and learnings about the role communication can play in boosting public understanding during a crisis and the months that follow."
The event has been granted symposium status by the science communication network, Public Communicators of Science and Technology (PCST).
"The PCST network grants symposium status to conferences relatively infrequently, so it is something of a coup for New Zealand to get this coveted international accreditation for our event in February," Johnstone said.
The conference programme would include international case studies such as the devastating 2011 Japanese tsunami and provide world-class content to journalists, science communicators, academics and scientists from around the world.