Crack in the ground caused by an earthquake

What Christchurch did next

Introduction: The city that refused to be flattened by disaster

Beneath the Pacific Ocean, rocks on opposing sides of a ‘strike-slip’ fault had slid past one another with insidious force – quite literally causing a ‘tear’ in the earth’s surface. The tear was so cataclysmic, and so close in succession to a previously damaging major earthquake event in 2010, that it rendered hundreds of commercial buildings and around 10 000 residential homes unsalvageable. Even more tragic was the loss of life. Wives, husbands, sons and daughters. 185 lives. 185 stories.

Christchurch damage in facts

Six years on from 2011, Aurecon has curated some of these collective stories into a unique reflection. Although each has been born out of disaster, they are also incredible tales of resilience, renewed strength and hope for a brighter future. These stories now form part of the story of Christchurch as it reclaims its destiny.

Christchurch and its people, community, and businesses refused to be flattened.

Rebuilding central Christchurch is one of the most ambitious projects in New Zealand’s history and is about recreating and planning for a new, resilient community. It is not an engineering project. It is a rebuild that focuses on the creation of infrastructure and places for Christchurch’s people and the stories that bind them together.

Aurecon is proud to be playing its part in this rebuild.

By sharing these stories and engaging with global communities about lessons learned, we hope to contribute to global conversations about disaster resilience.

This is what Christchurch did next…

Learning from a ‘global’ community

Lianne Dalziel, Mayor – Christchurch Council, talks about how Christchurch is learning from a ‘global’ community.

Recovery and rebuild – the key players


  • Civil Defence
  • Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)


  • Christchurch City Council
  • Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)*
  • Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU)
  • Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT)
  • CERA’s Significant Buildings Unit (SBU)

*CERA completed their recovery work in early 2016, handing over to Regenerate Christchurch. Jointly owned and funded by the Crown and the Christchurch City Council, their focus is on development in Christchurch’s central city, residential red zones and New Brighton. Regenerate Christchurch will be in existence until June 2021 and then transition into a solely council-owned organisation.

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