Friday, 9 September 2016, 1:06 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration
Hon Nicky Wagner
Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration
September 2016 Media Statement
Big names to attend recovery symposium
Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Gerry Brownlee has announced a line-up of key international leaders in disaster recovery and preparedness for a symposium sharing lessons from the Canterbury earthquake recovery.
The Learn, Prepare, Act Symposium to be held in Christchurch in February nextyear will present the recovery experiences and lessons learned across many different sectors, including community organisations, government and non-government agencies.
“This is not saying, by any means, that we are finished with the process of rebuilding and regenerating Christchurch,” Mr Brownlee says.
“But analysing and sharing the experience that the city and the country has gained is best done while we have the people and knowledge readily at hand.
“The purpose is to share these lessons with people around New Zealand, and the rest of the world, who work in the areas of disaster preparedness and recovery.
“With that in mind, the symposium will be livestreamed and I’m pleased we have already confirmed three international leaders will attend and speak at the symposium.”
The three confirmed speakers are Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross; Francis Ghesquiere, Manager, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank); and a yet to be named senior representative from the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project.
“These leaders will bring a global perspective to what we are doing in Canterbury, and their involvement shows how much our recovery experience is valued by the rest of the world,” Mr Brownlee says.
Mr Sy says the Canterbury earthquake was “a tragic event, but the response to it was inspiring, and spoke to the dignity and resilience of the New Zealand people.”
“I look forward to taking part in this symposium, to learning from those who led response and recovery efforts, and to taking these lessons with me to other contexts where the Red Cross is working to protect and support communities vulnerable to disasters and crises.”
Mr Ghesquiere says the Canterbury experience is of great interest to his organisation.
“The scale of the disaster and the carefully coordinated reconstruction efforts set Canterbury apart as a recovery experience.
“The involvement of the community in discussions about what recovery should look like, the development of a new recovery authority and recovery plans, and the social wellbeing programme are just some of the stand out initiatives that can help other governments when they consider how to identify hazards, reduce critical risks, and prepare for or respond to a disaster.
“These lessons can also add significant value to the wider international dialogue on enhancing disaster risk management in vulnerable countries.”
Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says the three-day symposium is still in the planning phase, but more than 300 people from the disaster recovery and preparedness fields in New Zealand and overseas are expected to be invited.
”Presentations and material from the symposium will be made available for public viewing, so everyone can see what is being shared,” Mrs Wagner says.
“A number of organisations and companies have already confirmed their support for the running of the event, including The Tannery, Air New Zealand, Kiwibank, New Zealand Red Cross and the Earthquake Commission. In addition the University of Canterbury, along with its partners, is exploring the possibility of a course linked to the symposium, and we will hear more about this and other symposium plans as we get closer to the event.”
More detail about the symposium will be available closer to the event.