Community participation in recovery planning : a case study from the 1998 Ohura flood

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Ward, J.; Becker, J.S.; Johnston, D.M. 2008 Community participation in recovery planning : a case study from the 1998 Ohura flood. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2008/22 20 p.

Abstract: Recovery planning after a disaster is about people. Therefore public participation is an integral element of the recovery process. Participation and empowerment during the recovery process allows the community to make decisions about their future, and can contribute to holistic recovery. However, while participation and empowerment during recovery is important, in practice public participation generally takes the form of ‘consultation’ rather than being a true participatory process. In this report, a case study of a flood disaster in Ohura in 1998 is presented as an example of how public participation and consultation is carried out in recovery planning. For recovery planning, it is essential that appropriate tools be used (e.g. workshops, in addition to meetings, submissions, etc) to truly empower communities and allow plans to be community-led, rather than institution-led. In addition, thought must be given to the timing of participation. Participation in recovery planning should occur prior to an event, as well as post-event. The social and cognitive disruption experienced during an event also should be taken into consideration when undertaking recovery planning post-event. This work was undertaken primarily as a case study for Masters of Planning by Jessica Ward from the University of Auckland. Additional comment has been added by the two other authors. (auth)