The impact of Earthquakes on apartment owners and renters in te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) aotearoa New Zealand
journal contributionposted on 09.09.2021, 11:01 by Denise BlakeDenise Blake, JS Becker, D Hodgetts, KJ Elwood
Apartment dwelling is on the increase in many cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, including those in earthquake-prone regions. Hence it is important that people working in disaster management and housing improve their understanding on how the living situations of apartment dwellers influence their disaster management practices. This knowledge is crucial for efforts to promote safety and preparedness. This paper explores what enables and constrains apartment dwellers in their ability to prepare for an earthquake. Eighteen people were interviewed who resided in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) two years after the 2016 7.8 magnitude (Mw) Kaikōura earthquake. Of central concern was people’s ability to prepare for disasters and access knowledge about building and structural safety and how this knowledge mattered to what apartment dwellers were able to prepare for. We found that the agency to prepare was dependent on whether people owned or rented their dwellings. We report on participant accounts of dealing with body corporations, landlords, emergency kits, other emergency items, and evacuation plans.