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Adapting After Emergencies

Adapting After Emergencies: lessons from Kaikōura and Hurunui.


Two minutes after midnight on 14 November 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the upper South Island. Shaking lasted for about two minutes. People as far away as Auckland felt the quake.

Communities in Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough were the hardest hit. Homes were damaged, water and sewerage systems were cut, and roads and railway lines were closed. Kaikōura was cut off for two weeks until emergency road access was restored. Just 24 hours after the earthquake hit, New Zealand Red Cross staff and volunteers were on the ground to help.

Eighteen months on, people living in affected communities are adapting to new routines and lifestyles. This field trip explores some of the ways unexpected events can change communities and our way of life.

On this field trip you will travel to Kaikōura and nearby rural communities to hear the experiences of people who have lived through a major emergency. They have important lessons to share and stories to be told.

This New Zealand Red Cross trip will help you explore questions such as: What happens when emergencies strike? What do people do? How do communities work together? What can we learn from recent natural events? How do we prepare ourselves for future events we can't control?

Introduction to Adapting after Emergencies - lessons from Kaikōura and Hurunui from LEARNZ on Vimeo.

Meet Andrew - LEARNZ field trip teacher


For this field trip you will fly into Christchurch, then travel north by car through the Hurunui District and along the rebuilt East Coast highway to Kaikōura. You will listen to stories from rural and urban communities. New Zealand has a beautiful landscape created by the turbulent forces of nature. We lie on the 'Pacific Ring of Fire', which means we should expect to experience an emergency caused by these forces during our lifetime. 

Field Trip Plan

  • Planning Sequence: an example of how primary schools can make use of all field trip components for a 3-day virtual field trip - Word (652k) | PDF (311k) | Google Doc.
Monday 25 June

Travel day: Join Andrew and the ambassadors as they make their way to the starting point for this field trip. 

Tuesday 26 June

Theme day 1: The earthquake - Find out why this was a complex earthquake, as well as the damage and land movement it caused.

Wednesday 27 June

Theme day 2: The roads - Explore what it has taken to get damaged roads back up and running, and how people living along and around them have had to adapt.

Thursday 28 June

Theme day 3: The lessons - Hear stories from locals who felt the full impact of this earthquake, and get ideas for coping with similar emergencies.