It’s now been four years since the February earthquake hit Christchurch and caused so much chaos and tragedy.david meates

A lot has been planned and acted on since then. In terms of health, repairs are being made to facilities, new hospital developments are well on their way and health professionals are sharing the learning they have gained from their experiences.

Many other natural disasters occurred across the Asia-Pacific region during 2010 and 2011. Earthquakes and tsunamis in New Zealand, Pacific nations, and Japan; bush fires in Australia and floods in Thailand, China, Indonesia and Australia all caused havoc. Typhoons affected the Philippines and other adverse weather effects such as hurricanes, cyclones and super storms caused devastation within the Pacific Rim and more widely. Professionals played key roles in all these disasters.

In order to share this valuable knowledge more widely, Canterbury District Health Board is working with the New Zealand Rhise (Researching the Health Implications of Seismic Events) group to present an inaugural People in Disasters Conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 24-26 February, 2016.

This conference coincides with the fifth anniversary week of the Christchurch earthquake. We are expecting more than 400 local, national and international delegates from a wide variety of backgrounds - leaders, decision makers and responders in health, government, emergency response, industry, education, trade professionals, community and voluntary agencies and other individuals who want and need to be prepared for a disaster.
The conference is all about disaster response, recovery and resilience. We invite you to participate in this event. As a participant you’ll be exposed to leading research and insightful experiences from professionals who’ve been there. Don’t pass up this opportunity to hear from the people who’ve faced these challenges.

For more information visit

We have been fortunate to have captured work stories, published articles, videos, and photographs that relate to the 22 February 2011 earthquake. These acknowledge and demonstrate the exemplary way people in the Canterbury Health System reacted on that day and in the days that followed. They also provide an official record that can be viewed by people all over New Zealand, and indeed the world.

David Meates

Chief Executive Officer
Canterbury District Health Board