The two men tasked with leading the Port Hills fire recovery are aiming to have a recovery action plan completed within a few weeks. Murray Sinclair and Al Lawn were appointed as recovery managers for Christchurch city and Selwyn district respectively by the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Joint Committee on February 24.
Since then, they and the multi-agency team they have assembled have been working to assess the full extent of the fire’s impact. The team is focusing on four areas – the impact on the natural environment, the impact on the built environment, the impact on people’s lives, and on the economy.
They have also been gathering information on how the fire behaved in the hope they can prevent a repeat of the conditions that led to the devastating blaze.
Mr Sinclair said a key focus of the recovery plan was on building resilience and mitigating risk so it was important they had a comprehensive understanding of the fire’s behaviour and why it did what it did.
As part of the recovery planning they would look at whether there should be a requirement for property owners on the urban/rural boundary to have a ‘defensible space’ around their homes.
A defensible space is essentially a buffer that separates a house from the surrounding vegetation so it slows or stops the spread of fire.
Mr Lawn said high on the pair’s list of priorities this week was establishing a framework that matched those keen to help with the recovery with those in need of help.
Recovery team weekly reports
Below are links to the weekly reports from the Christchurch recovery team. Some information has been redacted because it contains personal information or material that is commercially sensitive.
- Port Hills Fire Recovery report week ending 17 March 2017 [PDF 312KB]
- Port Hills Fire Recovery report week ending 24 March 2017 [PDF 391KB]
- Port Hills Fire Recovery report week ending 31 March 2017 [PDF 417KB]
- Port Hills Fire Recovery report week ending 7 April 2017 [PDF 423KB]
Port Hills Recovery Plan Discussion Document
The Port Hills Recovery Plan Discussion Document outlines the recovery goals, how the recovery of the Port Hills may be carried out, what success may look like and captures some of the feedback we received at community meetings.
We are seeking feedback from key stakeholders and affected communities on the discussion document including the recovery goals and what a successful recovery and regeneration could look like.