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Thursday, November 25 • 11:20am - 12:40pm
Room C2 - Parallel Session Four: Disaster Resilience & Volunteering

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Chair: Rosemary Du Plessis

11:20am - 11:40am

Sally Carlton & Sylvia Nissen

Recognition is not necessarily part of volunteering, or it can be expressed informally through ad hoc practices of the giving and receiving of acknowledgement. Yet increasingly, layering over these interactions are formalised performances of recognition through the rise of awards, rewards, distinctions or credit for service. There is a politics of recognition to navigate with the rise of these practices – of what or whom is recognised, by whom, and how? Drawing on 28 in-depth interviews, we examine how young people engaged in volunteering-related activities in Canterbury interpret and navigate recognition for their engagement. In tracing their multiple, conflicting perspectives, our analysis highlights the distinction between interviewees’ profound unease with practices that give recognition to individual volunteers, and their support for recognition of volunteering as a collective act.

11:40am - 12:00pm
Supaporn Supaponlakit

The number of research studies of Volunteer Tourism (VT) or Voluntourism has increased significantly over the last twelve years. However, research on volunteer tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand remains limited despite its popularity as a volunteer tourism destination. Further, VT incorporates characteristics that distinguish it from other forms of leisure travel including the forms of motivation that generate it and the potential impacts it has on the tourist. In this context, the current study explores the relationship between VT activities and self-identity in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
This qualitative study found that volunteers challenged the perceptions of what they felt that they could do through new experiences. Comparative deprivation was accepted because of approval from recipients and the opportunity to learn about different cultures. This is the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone. As a result, some participants learned more about themselves and had life-changing experiences, which made them gain a better or at least different sense of themselves or of their identity. Nevertheless, it was also found that volunteers often assumed the role of the tourist on their days off and therefore engaged in touristic activities for relaxation and sensation-seeking.

12:00pm - 12:20pm
Michael Nuth

The Canterbury earthquakes have heightened awareness of New Zealand’s vulnerability to seismic hazards. Consequently, territorial authorities across New Zealand are increasingly categorising some council-owned buildings as ‘earthquake-prone’. This has led to long periods where facilities and services housed in council buildings become unavailable to local communities, resulting in some notable socioeconomic impacts. For example, closure of Naenae Olympic Pool in Lower Hutt created a sense of uncertainty in the community and led to the closure of some local businesses. The closure of the Wellington Central Library due to structural concerns with the library’s floor seating has also had a significant community impact, including on Wellington’s homeless population. Such examples demonstrate that the wellbeing of communities is often interwoven with the bricks and mortar of council assets. Decisions by territorial authorities to pre-emptively close council buildings while determinations about their operational future are still being made can therefore cause disruption to community life.

It is uncertain how councils, acting as public building owners, are evaluating life safety risks associated with a seismic event within a vast geological timeframe (i.e., thousands of years) alongside the immediate socioeconomic impacts of public building closure. This research seeks to understand how the immediate socioeconomic impacts of public building closure are currently being, or could be better, balanced against the possible physical and human impacts of an earthquake.

12:20pm - 12:40pm 
Louise Tapper & Rosemary Du Plessis

Ōtautahi Christchurch has experienced a series of crises that have challenged its residents. A city still impacted by the Canterbury quakes of 2010-2011, was rocked in a different way by the mosque shootings on 15 March 2019. More recently the COVID-19 pandemic has posed different challenges. In August 2020 we embarked on a small-scale oral history project that focused on recording the experiences of thirteen young women who had lived through the aftermath of the quakes, the mosque shootings and COVID-19 related lockdowns. We were interested in their stories and potential connections across their reflections on these different collective, but personally experienced, crises. Participants’ input into the project challenged us to explore how other young women and wider community groups could access the stories they told. We reflect on our research process and our attempts to share these narratives via a digital archive (UC QuakeStudies), online podcasts (Plains FM), and a set of short videos that highlight young women’s strategies for living through “hard times.”


Michael Nuth

Social Scientist, BRANZ
avatar for Rosemary Du Plessis

Rosemary Du Plessis

Assoc Professor, University of Canterbury

Thursday November 25, 2021 11:20am - 12:40pm NZDT
C2 Commerce Building