Following the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake, Third Sector Organizations (TSOs) are increasingly relied on to maintain community connectivity, and well-being. As demolition and red zoning alter livelihood options, TSOs are increasingly turned to by citizens that may not have previously needed social assistance due to increased rents, changes in employment opportunities, and permanent or temporary relocation. Collaboration amongst existing TSOs and perseverance of staff ensure that community needs continue to be met, even though some TSOs in the central business district and red zone were themselves displaced. Additional TSOs have been formed since the earthquake, from the Student Volunteer Army to the Rebuild Christchurch website, to address a range of emergent concerns evident to those most connected to their communities.
In addition to the stress associated with the disaster recovery, there is now an increased emphasis on quantitative reporting from non-profit funders internationally and strong competition for third sector funding in New Zealand in particular. Although initial earthquake response grants funded basic activities, such as cook-outs, to meet community health needs and foster solidarity, funding for long term recovery efforts requires both integration into recovery planning as a sector and quantitative, evidence-based data for continued appeals. Christchurch has proven to have a resilient economy and public awareness of TSO involvement in areas of population influx has increased, however, recent census statistics are imperative for continued TSO involvement. The 2013 New Zealand census offers a planning tool for TSOs to quantify shifting community needs for strategic planning and fundraising purposes following the earthquake.
This research generates geographic information system (GIS) maps based on comparisons of data from the 2006 and 2013 censuses at a ward level. Both weighted and unweighted sustainability indices using traditional social vulnerability metrics are presented to show the impact of various marginalization factors on shifting vulnerability in the Canterbury region. Vulnerability maps generated from the most updated census statistics back-stops perceived changes to the socio-political landscape that TSOs are already responding to as a part of continued recovery efforts in Christchurch. Despite a regional increase in overall income, factors such as ethnicity, age, and household composition still intensify income discrepancy. Results indicate that the factors contributing to vulnerability have changed in some areas of persistent vulnerability whereas the relocation of marginalized groups has been the driving factor in shifting levels of vulnerability in other areas, such as Riccarton and Addington. Since, each factor has a significant impact on the outcomes, a weighting approach is suggested for the region based on national trends.
Further, GIS based market-share case studies related to factors contributing to vulnerability depict the impact of relocation on accessibility of specific TSO services. As TSOs are integrated into long term planning processes, maps serve as effective advocacy tools. Market-share maps allow the organizations to identify overlap in service areas, disseminate information on community resources to target audiences, depict the realities of vulnerability distribution to policy-makers, and fundraise effectively as a sector and individual organizations by highlighting their niche value added. Especially for TSOs that lost records due to demolition and had their offices merged because of limited centrally located space, census results quantify the additional resources that will be required to maintain and expand services to achieve each organization’s missions.