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Media Release: Rotary Club of Wellington

Monday, 10 October, 2011

Seismic risk raises major questions for Wellington


Are Wellington’s businesses and organisations prepared for the trauma of a major earthquake? What would happen if your organisation could not function properly? What can you do to prepare when your organisation’s survival is important and you’d have responsibilities for staff and family to deal with?

These are just some of the questions to be covered at a comprehensive one-day conference to be held in Wellington on Tuesday 18 October.

‘Organisational effectiveness in times of seismic risk’ is about how Wellington organisations can learn from the recent earthquakes in Canterbury.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Wellington in partnership with Victoria University, organising chair Geoff Bascand said that the conference represented “the first major reflection on the earthquakes from a view point beyond the Christchurch recovery.

“We want to help the country’s major organisations understand how they will cope if there is a disaster in Wellington and give a strong call to action for organisations and businesses of all sizes to be prepared. The earthquakes were a warning and we want to heed it,” Mr Bascand said.

The conference will explore the issues of building resilience before the event, restoring confidence and effectiveness, leading people after the event, and the process of rebuilding. 

The conference features 16 experts and leaders including: Dr Alan Bollard, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Alan Freeth, CEO TelstraClear; Roger Sutton, CEO Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA); Peter Townsend, CEO Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturing; Geoff Bascand, CEO Statistics NZ; Ian Athfield, Architect; and Fran Wilde, Chair of Wellington Regional Council.

“We’ve all got to listen and learn from the lessons of the past or we’ll most likely repeat the mistakes. Rotary and Victoria University are open to what will come out of this conference,” says Mr Bascand. “We know the speakers will have very useful things to say and we hope that a manual can be created from their collective wisdom.”

The ‘Organisational effectiveness in times of seismic risk’ one-day conference is on Tuesday, 18 October at Victoria University, Lecture Theatre 1, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Bunny Street. The full programme and registration is available at



Media are welcome to attend. To register your interest please contact:

Fraser Carson, FRESCO, PHONE 04 499 4938 or 021 669 101 or email

Dr Richard Norman, Victoria University School of Management, PHONE 04 463-5455, or email. 


Seismic risk raises major questions for Wellington



Host for the Day: Hewitt Humphrey

Radio New Zealand Broadcaster and President-elect, Rotary Club of Wellington (2012) 

Welcome from James Austin, President of the Rotary Club of Wellington


Key Note: Dr Alan Bollard 

Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand


Theme 1: Building Resilience Before the Event

Chair: Glen Hughes

Southern Regional Manager, OPUS International Consultants


Allan Freeth

 CE, TelstraClear

Dr Helen Anderson

Director, BRANZ and Seismologist

Margaret Jeffries

Chair, Project Lyttelton

Dave Middleton

Formerly head of EQC, Chair, Resilient Organisations, University of Canterbury


Theme 2: Restoring Confidence and Effectiveness Immediately after an Event

Chair: Donald Bell

Territorial Commander, Salvation Army


Peter Townsend

CE, Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturing

Jacki Johnson



Director Security And Risk Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Bill Butzbach  

Director Strategic Development, New Zealand Fire Service


Theme 3: Leading People After the Event

Chair: Mayor Celia Wade-Brown


Geoff Bascand 

CE, Statistics NZ

Charles Waldegrave 

Leader of the Family Centre Social Policy Research Unit

Richard Ballantyne

Executive Director, J Ballantyne & Co Limited

Professor Bruce Glavovic

Associate Director, Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Massey University


Theme 4: Rebuilding Our Future; Is an Earthquake Required?

Chair: Pat Walsh

Vice Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington


Colin James 

Political Journalist and Analyst

Ian Athfield

Architect for Redesign Christchurch

Roger Sutton

CE, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)


Conference Summary and Lessons for Wellington

Fran Wilde

 Chair, Greater Wellington Regional Council

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