University Of Tasmania

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Multi-agency community engagement during diaster recovery: Lessons from two New Zealand earthquake events

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 13:27 authored by Johnston, D, Becker, J, Douglas Paton

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to look at the role of community participation in reducing anxiety and trauma in communities during two New Zealand earthquakes: the 1987 Edgecumbe and 2003 Te Anau events and explore the effectiveness of various approaches in providing information, reducing stress, and facilitating a recovery process.

Design/methodology/approach – The principle methods of data collection were semi-structured interviews were undertaken between October 2006 and March 2007 with key agencies and individuals involved in the response and comprehensive analysis of papers, reports and articles in newspapers. The research was undertaken prior to the 4 September 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand, and therefore community recovery from these events are not discussed in this paper.

Findings – Effective survival and recovery from disasters depends not just on people’s abilities to cope with the physical impacts of the event, but also on how the societal environment complements and supports the complex and protracted processes of community recovery. Central to recovery is how society organises, mobilises and coordinates the diverse range of organizational and professional resources that can be called upon to assist recovery.

Originality/value – The paper offers insight into the effectiveness and benefit of incorporating of community participation in reducing anxiety and trauma in communities during earthquakes.


Publication title

Disaster Prevention and Management








School of Psychological Sciences


Emerald Group Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

Wagon Ln, Bingley, W Yorks BD16 1WA, UK

Rights statement

Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2012.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Natural hazards not elsewhere classified

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