This report studied six communities affected by the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Our project found that connected communities with good community infrastructure (e.g. local networks, marae, organisations, and leaders) before the earthquakes were well placed to adapt after the disasters.
The key role of marae as hubs for providing emergency support and hospitality was highlighted. The emphasis of marae on manaakitanga (hospitality and caring) helped them mobilise quickly and offer support to the whole community.
We interviewed more than 90 community leaders and residents, 15 to 17 months after the destructive February 2011 earthquake. The six community case-studies focused on Lyttelton; Shirley; Inner City East; marae communities; migrant and refugee communities; and Christchurch Community House (a workplace community).
The research highlights the vital role of community-led action, community development, and informal social networks in strengthening the resilience of communities.