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Earthquakes in New Zealand - Lesson one
Earthquakes in New Zealand - Lesson two
Earthquakes in New Zealand - Lesson three
Earthquakes in New Zealand - Follow up

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Earthquake damaged building in New ZealandEarthquakes in New Zealand - Lesson three


  • Is it possible to redevelop Christchurch?
  • Will the proposed developments meet the needs of a 21st Century population?
  • How will redevelopment affect residents’ understanding of ‘home’?


Read the BBC News reports about aftershocks in Christchurch

What are the long term prospects for the city?


Following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) was established to coordinate the ongoing recovery efforts. One of their key roles now is to look to the future and coordinate redevelopment and reinvestment in Christchurch.

This video offers a short introduction to the future redevelopment of the central areas of the city.
The video is also available on YouTube.

Although still coming to terms with the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and the ongoing seismic hazard, Christchurch has a unique opportunity to start again with a blank canvas in the heart of the city and design a city that meets the needs of a 21st Century population.

Using information from the video clip, and with reference to the land use map, identify the anchor projects that will form the heart of the city. 

To what extent do you think the proposed developments will meet the needs of a 21st Century population? What are the main strengths of the plans?

One of the aims of the planners was to create an integrated city, what is meant by this term? Do you think this will be achieved in Christchurch?

It will take a considerable number of different parties (players) to redesign and develop the central areas of Christchurch. Complete the grid below to identify the role that each party has played in the redevelopment.

Player Development role and priorities
Local residents  

Community Groups

Christchurch City Council  
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority  

Questions to consider:

  • Has the focus on redevelopment of the central areas of the City taken the focus away from the redevelopment and resettlement of the residential districts?
  • Have all parties been consulted and had the opportunity to express their views on the redevelopment?
  • Is redevelopment in the current location the best option for the city or should New Zealand’s second city be redevelopment in a less hazardous location?


In the aftermath of the earthquakes residents in the affected suburbs have come together to form community groups. These groups have drawn residents together and provided much needed emotional and practical support. Canterbury Communities’ Earthquake Recovery Network (CanCern) is one such group that has become a vital resource within the city.

  • To what extent do you think that residents groups have helped displaced residents with the process of ‘coming home’?
  • How have the residents groups helped communities in a way that Christchurch City authorities might not have been able to?

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