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Forum considers lessons from Canterbury quakes

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A two-day symposium on lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquakes will be held later this year.

Buildings collapsed and 185 people were killed when Christchurch was hit by a devastating quake on February 22, 2011.

The symposium, at the University of Canterbury on November 29-30, will be co-hosted by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Christchurch City Council.

“The symposium will be an event of national importance, sharing lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes so New Zealand as a whole can be better prepared… for any similar natural disasters,” Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Megan Woods said.

“The Canterbury earthquakes were unprecedented. They provide us with many valuable lessons, which we continue to review and learn from.”

About 250 participants from the public, private, voluntary, community and academic sectors will be invited to the symposium.

Dr Woods says New Zealand’s geography exposes it to extreme natural hazard risks.

“Kiwis need confidence New Zealand’s disaster and recovery systems are robust,” she said.

“We must keep learning from what’s happened in the past, to ensure we do our best to get it right moving forward.”

She says the symposium will provide “the platform into a much bigger international event to be held on the 10th anniversary of the earthquakes in 2021”.