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International Recovery Platform

Recipe for Disaster

This report tallies the successes and failures of the recovery effort after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand, with the aim of improving future preparedness and recovery initiatives. It provides a number of policy recommendations for disaster preparedness and post-disaster response. Key recommendations include the need for the government to provide greater regulatory and policy certainty through better pre-disaster contingency planning, clearer cost-sharing arrangements, and equipping a recovery agency with access to necessary “off the shelf” internal control and operational functions. Councils' long-term plans should also include disaster contingencies, including the ability to quickly respond to housing shortages or triggers that automatically amend, suspend or withdraw certain city plans. Central government should also consider mechanisms like the Reserve Bank’s Open Banking Resolution framework for failed insurers. In terms of disaster response, the report includes recommendations on infrastructure rebuilding, the resolution of contractual disputes, and the respect of underlying property rights, with the aim of reducing regulatory uncertainty that could hinder recovery.

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