If Sarah could name one key point about disaster recovery, it’s that people, not processes need to be the focus of any positive solutions. This learning drove her to become involved in resident-focused approaches in the Canterbury earthquake recovery, initially through the community organisation CanCERN, and now with Breakthrough Services.
Sarah has a background in teaching and sociology. In the wake of the February 2011 quake, she decided to focus her master’s research on how community groups helped address residents’ needs after the earthquakes. Through CanCERN she helped run the In the Know Hub, an earthquake support centre for residents, which gave further insight into the complexities homeowners are facing. Sarah’s experiences have highlighted just how important it is to create a space where residents feel heard and involved. This motivates her to continue supporting homeowners as they navigate the complexities of their repair/rebuild.
Throughout five years of earthquake recovery, Leanne has learned that although some of it is complex, most of it’s not rocket science. It’s about the right people having a conversation about how to best serve the residents of Christchurch. She has been at those tables trying to influence those conversations and is committed to making sure residents’ concerns are heard and addressed.
Prior to the quakes, Leanne worked in teaching and community development. She was a founding member of CanCERN in 2010 and led the organisation until its closure in late 2015. Following the February earthquake, Leanne’s family home in Avonside was red zoned. She now lives in Waimakariri with her husband, kids, and terribly naughty dogs.
Of all the stories to be told in this recovery none is more important than that of residents trying to fix their homes. It is complex and varied, and for many there isn't yet an ending. Marcus has seen the positive impact facilitated, homeowner-centric conversations can have and firmly believes organisations like Breakthrough Services are the way forward.
Marcus was working as a journalist at the time of the February 2011 earthquake. He reported on the ensuing residential issues for three years before taking up a role at CanCERN in a bid to more directly help affected residents. Having been immersed in all aspects of the earthquake recovery since the beginning, Marcus understands the obstacles many homeowners continue to face.