Quake recovery team attends UK talks

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 05:00 04/10/2012

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Christchurch earthquake recovery bosses are in Britain this week for a conference on the Canterbury quakes.

Christchurch Central Development Unit director Warwick Isaacs and three staff are attending the New Zealand Earthquake Recovery Symposium in London.

Isaacs and unit investment manager James Hay opened the symposium overnight with presentations on rebuilding Christchurch's central business district and the central-city blueprint.

Holmes Consulting structural engineer John Hare and GNS Science principal scientist Kelvin Berryman also spoke to the audience of about 200 claims executives, underwriters, insurers and reinsurers.

Hare spoke about building inspections, quake-prone buildings and new construction. Berryman talked about the quake sequence to date and future seismic risk.

The group was invited by multinational engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti and claims consultancy firm Fitzgerald Consulting.

Travelling with Isaacs and Hay are the unit's principal adviser, Ariana Smith, and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) senior insurance adviser Alison O'Connell.

The four will spend the rest of the week in meetings with insurers and reinsurers.

A Cera spokesman described their role as providing "information from the Christchurch experience and importantly to give confidence to the insurers and reinsurers about the future for Christchurch".

The team would actively promote the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan, he said.

The members will tour Canary Wharf and the Olympic Village to gather information to assist the rebuild, and Isaacs will meet British trustees of the Earthquake Appeal to update them on philanthropic work in the recovery.

Isaacs travelled to Australia this year for research on the central-city blueprint, visiting Queensland to look at its flood recovery and Sydney for developments relevant to the rebuild.

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- The Press

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