Canterbury Earthquake Organisational Impact and Recovery Survey

Organisation disruption and resilience: How organisations coped with the Canterbury earthquakes.


Anonymised data from a 2013 survey of 541 Canterbury organisations examining the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes on their operations and what measures organisations may have taken in the aftermath. This includes service interruptions (i.e. water, electricity, or other utilities) and their impact on organisations operations, along with any actions taken to minimise those impacts.


Section title and question topics

  • About you

    • Respondent and organisation name and contact details
  • Your organisation

    • Organisation age, number of employees, sector, Maori-focus and ownership type
  • Earthquake impacts

    • Impacts, mitigation measures, critical infrastructure disruption and closure
  • Your location

    • Number of locations, property ownership and property relocation
  • Your suppliers

    • Supplier impacts and locations
  • Your customers

    • Service delivery and demand changes
  • Your staff

    • Staffing changes and challenges
  • Insurance

    • Recovery financing, insurance coverage and satisfaction
  • Organisational changes

    • Collaborations, business model and cost changes
  • Recovery

    • Recovery progress and situation
  • Resilience

    • Resilience profile using Resilient Organisations 13 resilience indicators thumbprint, critical infrastructure dependency, emergency planning, current cashflow and profitability


The survey sample was selected based on two organisational criteria. First, organisations needed to have premises in one of the three districts in the Canterbury region that suffered the majority of direct damage from the 2010/2011 earthquakes: Christchurch City, Selwyn, and Waimakariri districts. Second, the organisations were selected based on their industry sector. In this research, 19 unique sector classifications were used based on categories defined by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). These sectors (listed in Table 2) cover the vast majority of organisations operating in Canterbury as discussed in Section 3.4.

The database of organisations used in this research, was obtained from a business to business marketing company. The database was divided by sector and included organisation names and contact information.

Organisations were initially contacted by telephone. The respondents could then choose to complete the survey over the telephone, online using a cloud based survey engine, or on a hardcopy. If a response was not received within two weeks, the organisation received a follow up call as a reminder. After two more weeks they received another follow-up call or email.

The survey was open between July 2013 and December 2013. In total 2176 unique organisations were asked to participate, and 541 valid and complete surveys were received, for a response rate of approximately 25%. A valid response was considered as one where at least 40 out of 49 questions were answered.

Creation Purpose

This survey was part of the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure project - see

Objectives of this survey were to: - quantify the economic implications of vulnerabilities to infrastructure failure from both natural hazards and infrastructure-only events, and - explore alternative post-disaster recovery strategies.

Temporal Coverage


Publications and References

Criticality of infrastructures for organisations Sonia Giovinazzi, Charlotte Brown, Erica Seville, Joanne Stevenson, Tracy Hatton, John Vargo. 2016 International Journal of Critical Infrastructures 12 (4), 331-363.

Businesses and the Canterbury earthquakes: how do their experiences translate to other contexts? Tracy Hatton, Erica Seville, Charlotte Brown, Joanne Stevenson March 2016, ERI Research Report 2016/01.

Disruption and Resilience: How Organisations coped with the Canterbury Earthquakes. Erica Seville, Joanne Stevenson, Charlotte Brown, Sonia Giovinazzi, John Vargo. December 2014. ERI Research Report 2014/002.

Charlotte Brown, Joanne Stevenson, Sonia Giovinazzi, Erica Seville, John Vargo, Factors influencing impacts on and recovery trends of organisations: evidence from the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 14, Part 1.


Dr. Charlotte Brown Resilient Organisations Ltd

Data and Resources


Topic Categories

Additional Info

Field Value
Author Tracy Hatton
Last Updated June 26, 2018, 23:53 (UTC)
Created June 26, 2018, 23:44 (UTC)