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Thursday, November 25 • 9:30am - 10:50am
Room C2 - Parallel Session Three: Disaster

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Chair: Trudi Cameron

9:30am - 9:50am

EXPLORING DISASTER RESILIENCE DISCOURSE IN NEOLIBERAL SRI LANKA: A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF GOVERNMENT, DONORS AND FLOOD-AFFECTED PEOPLE
H. Unnathi S.Samaraweera

Disaster resilience has become a buzzword incorporated in every Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) document irrespective of its practical outcome in Sri Lanka. This paper explores ‘disaster resilience’ as a discourse in neoliberal Sri Lanka, specifically focusing on the experiences of Sri Lankan policy makers and government actors, donors and flood-affected people in two flood-affected communities. Using a mixed methods approach, the paper draws on face to face household surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions with flood-affected people, semi-structured interviews with various officials, and DRR related documentary analysis. Research findings suggest the Sri Lankan government’s accountability is to create and implement DRR policies and frameworks, to deliver post disaster recovery and reconstruction. The donors’ responsibility is to operationalize disaster resilience at local levels with empowerment being an overall part of their objectives. However, both the government and donor sector initiate response-oriented rapid interventions during and post disaster contexts which indicate lack of coordination in relation to aid delivery. Flood-affected communities do not receive the empowerment and effective disaster recovery envisaged through government and donor support over the short or longer term. Thus, disaster resilience discourse in the Sri Lankan context shift responsibility in relation to disaster resilience towards flood affected subjects.


9:50am - 10:10am 

 MINUTES OF SHAKING: YEARS OF LITIGATION
Jeremy Finn & Elizabeth Toomey

This paper discusses the major long-term legal issues arising from the Canterbury earthquakes and
the frequently unsatisfactory procedures that were supposed to resolve them. The overwhelming effect of the earthquakes’ aftermath led to complexity, failure and unacceptable delays. The poorly prepared Earthquake Commission (EQC) was engulfed quickly with numerous complaints. This led to litigation through the courts, litigation notable for delays in achieving clear court rulings on a number of key issues and the unfortunate channelling of many cases through a single law firm. Eventually both central and local government stepped in to provide dispute resolution services but these were much too late. These cumulative matters cost Canterbury residents far more than they should have in terms of health and money. The recent introduction, more than ten years after the first earthquake, of the Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill speaks for itself. The paper concludes on a positive note, describing the efficient and collaborative relationship between Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and the Christchurch City Council (CCC) in dealing with the configuration of the vast tracts of red-zoned land which, in years to come, should bring smiles to the faces of weary Cantabrians. 


10:10am - 10:30am 

MAKING SOCIAL CHOICES IN TURBULENT TIMES: REFLECTIONS ON A DECADE OF DISASTER EXPERIENCES IN ŌTAUTAHI
Bruce Glavovic

Critical Disaster Studies (CDS) are foundational for understanding how to reduce vulnerability. Navigating waves of disaster depends on how social choices are made in the midst disasters. Ōtautahi disaster experiences from 2010 to 2020 testify to the dire consequences of governance practices that close down opportunities for authentic public engagement, deliberation and reflexivity. This presentation distils insights from a forthcoming book by Uekusa et al., on these experiences. I map bright and dark spots in the social choices made through the decade. The central lesson learned is the imperative to open up opportunities for local communities to make social choices with the support of governing authorities. A critical praxis of disaster governance has a strong ethical foundation and is geared towards averting dangerous climate change, environmental destruction, and confronting inequitable and unjust development in a Covid world. It is founded on visionary thinking, inclusivity and robust deliberation, underpinned by public trust and legitimacy. It fosters reflexivity and adaptative capacity. It unlocks agonistic potential to leverage divergent perspectives for the common good and confronts the drivers and root causes of vulnerability. It is human-scaled, embraces diversity and difference, and celebrates the human spirit.


10:30am - 10:50am 

TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE: REFLECTIONS ON CREATIVITY FOLLOWING THE CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE SEQUENCE
Trudi Cameron


Creativity has been discussed in relation to disaster recovery as a component of resilience (Metzl & Morrell, 2008; Metzl, 2009), entrepreneurship (Chamlee-Wright & Storr, 2010; Monllor & Murphy, 2017) and improvisation (Wachtendorf, 2004). However, this chapter draws on research completed in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes about how individuals, creativity and social processes intersected in the post-disaster setting. In the immediate and mid-term recovery period, creative ideas were lauded as a saviour of sorts for both their novelty and utility. This drew attention in part because Christchurch was widely regarded as a conservative, traditional city, fond of a heritage well-protected by its stakeholders. The physical destabilising of Christchurch led to a social destabilisation and greater questioning of the application of neoliberal principles that appeared widely-viewed as a socio-political norm (Cloke & Conradson, 2018). This allowed others – particularly those who appeared preadapted to instability – to provide adaptive and creative solutions that were, at least initially, well-supported. This chapter discusses what personally and contextually enabled or hindered those prepared to implement beneficial creative ideas after the disaster. The discussion expands on the findings and resulting models to consider the importance of recalling the value of embracing unconventional ideas in order to courageously do so in non-disaster periods.

Speakers

Thursday November 25, 2021 9:30am - 10:50am NZDT
C2 Commerce Building