Major insurer IAG collaborates for NZ resilience

by Maryvonne Gray 14 Aug 2015

Major insurer IAG collaborates for NZ resilience

IAG is joining forces with Beca, BNZ, Red Cross and Vodafone to learn lessons from Canterbury businesses impacted from the earthquakes in a bid to build resilience to future natural disasters.

The stakeholders have formed Resilient New Zealand, which is undertaking a project called ‘The Role of Business in Recovery’ to improve how the private sector contributes to the economic and social wellbeing of their communities following a natural disaster.

The group will engage business leaders and consolidate their views in a report to inform thinking on best business practices, business leadership, public policy and community expectations.

IAG New Zealand CEO Jacki Johnson said: “The recovery in Canterbury presents an important opportunity to understand how we can better do this through building resilience, leading recovery and collaborating with other sectors.

“Resilient New Zealand has engaged consultants PwC to conduct around 50 interviews with government, business and community leaders, primarily in the Canterbury region, to draw on their experience during the 2010 earthquakes,” she said.

“Businesses are an integral part of our communities and have an important role to play in any recovery effort. Their ability to get through the disaster, continue to operate and contribute their expertise is vital in helping communities recover.”

New Zealand Red Cross secretary general Tony Paine said resilience wasn’t just about good business continuity plans.

“As a country, we are well known for the strength of our communities, but there’s a lot more we should and could be doing to ensure that everyone is prepared for and supported during the next disaster we may face together.

“Communities need to be linked together from large businesses to the corner store and local sports club, with families, neighbours and colleagues all prepared to help out during a natural disaster.

“The Resilient New Zealand initiative is a big step in the right direction to achieving that,” he said.

The group hopes to release the report before the end of the year, and said there could be benefits from its learnings outside of New Zealand too.