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When disaster manager Brenden Winder arrived in Christchurch after the earthquake, he found a city with destroyed buildings, chimneys fallen to the ground and windows blown in. The devastation was confronting. As aftershocks continued, rescue crews worked around the clock to pull people from the rubble.

In this episode, Andrew and Josh are joined in Christchurch by Brenden Winder, Head of Civil Defence and Emergency Management at Christchurch City Council. Brenden shares his story working as part of the massive recovery effort following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes which struck the city. The conversation explores key aspects of coordinating the recovery, such as community involvement in decision making, housing and infrastructure planning, and navigating tensions around the property buybacks. Memorialisation and anniversary events are also discussed. Brendan shares how lessons from Christchurch informed his work providing demolition training to over 100 people after Nepal’s 2015 earthquake.

Brenden started his career in the Royal New Zealand Navy before working for adventure tourism company in Queenstown and then moving into emergency management. When the quake struck, Brenden was deployed to Christchurch and ended up staying to help with the clean up. He now manages all hazards in the city and outside of his day job has also travelled overseas to help other nations recover from major disasters.

Brendan is optimistic about Christchurch’s future resilience and growth. The city is modern, vibrant and more resilient to future earthquakes. Join Andrew and Josh on a walk around Christchurch with Brenden Winder on YouTube.

Brenden Winder

Brenden Winder is the Manager Civil Defence & Emergency Management at Christchurch City Council based in Christchurch, New Zealand.