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We champion resilience
When Bryce Davies led the creation of Resilient New Zealand, he helped IAG contribute towards making New Zealand stronger in the face of natural disasters. This aligns closely with our purpose to make our customers’ and communities’ worlds a safer place and helps us create safer, stronger and more confident communities.
“We all know the impact natural disasters can have on people’s lives. They damage our homes, workplaces and the communities we live in. The Canterbury earthquakes show just how devastating these events can be. And while we don’t know where, we do know New Zealand will face further disasters in the years to come.
This was on my mind when we considered how to learn from Canterbury. We wanted to respect the experiences of those involved and find better ways to help New Zealanders prepare for when disasters strike.
To do this we spoke openly with people from across the community. In my experience, bringing different people together helps develop new ways of thinking and creates change. It can be difficult but that’s essentially what I do – find areas of common interest from which to make a difference.
I was given a clear signal from those we spoke to that they wanted a voice to help make the next recovery a better one. Resilient New Zealand was our attempt to deliver that and our first project looked at how businesses can contribute more in future disasters. To make sure it was a strong voice, we asked our friends in the business and community sectors to help.
It was humbling to hear people’s stories and see the passion they have for their city. Their experiences and reflections helped us identify ways that we can all contribute to a more resilient New Zealand.
I’m really proud of our work and I think the broad support we’ve gained shows we’re on the right track. We have made a good start and I believe we have much more to offer.”
The group will now focus on engaging with businesses, the community and government to build support for and implement their recommendations.
Building on our work through the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities and the UNEP FI PSI Global Resilience Project, IAG formed Resilient New Zealand in partnership with BECA, BNZ, the New Zealand Red Cross and Vodafone to help the country better prepare for, and recover from, future natural disasters.
Its first report, ‘Contributing More: Improving the role of business in recovery’, launched in 2015, made a number of recommendations around how businesses can take a leadership role, both through the recovery of their own organisations and their contribution to wider community recovery. These include:
• Improving risk awareness and management
• Strengthening disaster plans
• Becoming more agile and future-focused; and
• Being open and effective in collaborating with public, private and community organisations.