In this episode of Local Gov Life, Simon Markham describe how his New Zealand community continues to rebuild seven years after a devastating earthquake.
The Canterbury Earthquake sequence from 2010 to 2012 became known as the worst natural disaster in the history of New Zealand. Though it struck first and hardest in September 2010, it was an aftershock six months later near Christ Church that proved to be most devastating. It claimed lives and property and the affected communities are still recovering seven years later. Waimakariri District Council Local Government Manager and ICMA member Simon Markham quickly found himself in an unexpected role: leading through the disaster and recovery. Though he was not an emergency management professional, he tapped his strong expertise in community engagement and communication to build community trust and resilience.
The Waimakariri District, which has a population of about 60,000, is part of greater Christ Church, a metropolitan area of 450,000. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people and causing billions of dollars worth of property damage. Markham describes the problem of liquefaction, which occurred, producing around 400,000 tons of silt. In this episode of Local Gov Life, you’ll hear Markham’s firsthand account of the disaster and some of the universal lessons that can help others navigate the long recovery and restoration process.
ICMA’s vision is to be the leading association of local government professionals dedicated to creating and supporting thriving communities throughout the world. We do this by working with our more than 12, 000 members to identify and speed the adoption of leading local government practices to improve the lives of residents. ICMA offers membership, professional development programs, research, publications, data and information, technical assistance, and training to thousands of city, town, and county chief administrative officers, their staffs, and other organizations throughout the world. Find out more about ICMA, and the profession, at our website: http://www.icma.org
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