Lessons learnt from Christchurch earthquakes helping Kaikoura business recovery

Lessons learnt from Christchurch earthquakes helping Kaikoura business recovery

Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) and the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) have been able to put their learnings from the Christchurch earthquakes to good use to assist Kaikoura with their business recovery. The organisations were responsible for forming Recover Canterbury after the Christchurch earthquakes, the entity tasked with supporting and accelerating businesses recovery.

“While we recognised the unique circumstances around Kaikoura’s recovery, we knew there were significant learnings and tools we could share from our experiences here. There were many instances where Christchurch learned the hard way, and we didn’t want that to happen again. We reached out and were pleased they took us up on the offer when they were ready.” says Peter Townsend, CEO of The Chamber.

“We also knew the importance of a wage subsidy scheme so advocated for this in the very early days and, more recently, for its extension.” The subsidy is designed to help businesses continue to employ staff in instances where they are unable to cover wages because of the downturn, and has since been extended until March.

Business Advisers Shirley van Waveren (The Chamber) and Russell Cull (CDC) have been the most active with the recovery support, working closely with businesses, Council, and various government entities. Both were previously employed by Recover Canterbury and offer specialist expertise around post-disaster business recovery. They were quick to formulate and distribute ‘six key tips for businesses’ immediately following the quakes, have been regularly talking with businesses and visiting the region, as well as working closely with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to provide recommendations around further government support.

“It’s a very different situation up there, but there are certainly some similarities with ours. It’s nice to know our experiences are helping in some way.” Says CDC Client Manager Russell Cull.