Kaikōura post-quake communications recognised in national awards


Kaikōura District Council and the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance have jointly won an Emergency Media and Public Affairs (EMPA) communications award for their roles supporting the ongoing recovery of the district following the November 2016 earthquake.

Separate entries from the communications teams from both organisations were jointly awarded the ‘excellence in recovery communications’ category at the ceremony earlier this week at Te Papa in Wellington. This category recognises a sustained contribution to supporting a community affected by an emergency through effective communications.

Kaikōura District Council’s CEO Angela Oosthuizen says the communications teams’ goal throughout the recovery to date has been to support those affected by the earthquake and allow their voices to be heard by decision makers.

“All of our 3500 residents were touched in some way by the earthquake. For many, the recovery has been the most challenging period in the district’s history. Our Communications team of two tries to support our community and our Council by creating and fostering constructive and future-focused relationships. They work to connect social services and other agencies with each other and with the community and encourage involvement from every member of our district in Council’s recovery decision making and business as usual,” she says.

Photo of Libby Clifford accepting the award.

Kaikōura District Council Communications and Engagement Manager, Libby Clifford accepting the award for excellence in recovery communications.

Speaking on behalf of the NCTIR Communications team, Tim Crow, NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager, says 2017 was challenging for residents in many ways.

“Last year, our communications job was to keep residents informed on safe day-to-day use of the available routes while also keeping them up-to-date with long-term progress to get the road and rail reopened. While these networks are now back in use, work continues and we will endeavour to keep talking with and listening to everyone in the community and continuing the exchange of information.”

KiwiRail Acting Chief Executive Todd Moyle, a founding member of the NCTIR board, congratulated Kaikōura District Council and NCTIR on their awards and said communication will continue to be a priority moving forward.

As a community, Kaikōura has achieved great things in the last 18 months. The district is continuing to recover but many challenges remain which both the Kaikōura District Council and NCTIR have committed to working through together with the community.

More about EMPA and the awards can be found here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1808/S00656/empa-emergency-communications-winners-announced.htm (external link)