Conference paper
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On September 4, 2010, an earthquake struck rural Canterbury and the most deadly of over 2,000 aftershocks devastated the Christchurch Central Business District on February 22, 2011 (Ardagh et al. 2012). Questions have arisen regarding population dynamics (Love 2011), marginalized groups, health and social care, and overall recovery efforts. Addressing some of these concerns are various non-profit, non-governmental, and faith based groups, collectively referred to as Third Sector Organizations (TSOs). By providing an alternative to and back-stopping government and private health and social services, TSOs are able to build resiliency following a natural disaster, and are especially able to identify and address unmet needs within their target audiences and maintain a sense of community within their operating areas. The nature of community recovery, also changes the role of TSOs in formal and grassroots efforts over time. In New Zealand, TSOs have shared community health burdens with government and private practices since the 1990s (Larner and Craig 2005) and have championed healthcare policy measures for ethnic minorities (Came 2014). Nevertheless, the earthquakes have presented challenges to TSOs. An inventory of 92 TSOs four months after the earthquakes, 106 one year after, and 454 two years after by Carlton and Vallance (2013) shows that although many TSOs have emerged to address earthquake related issues, other TSOs may have been unable to re-establish themselves outside areas with earthquake damage found to be too severe to inhabit by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA). Others reported “burn-out” and 52 were inactive or closed because of shifting needs during recovery. This research identifies shared experiences across the third sector in Canterbury to illuminate shifting roles in mid to long-term earthquake recovery.

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