Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Programme


Working hand-in-hand with the community, MWH is helping Canterbury recover from a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd | Canterbury, New Zealand



Approximately two months after Canterbury’s September 2010 earthquake, MWH Recovery was selected by Vero and AA Insurance to manage and coordinate the repair and rebuilding effort for a significant portion of their claims. Within two days of contract award, the MWH Recovery team commenced mobilisation and began assessing and dealing with damaged property. Sourcing and managing a multitude of local engineers, architects, builders and contractors, the programme team was at 30 dedicated staff by February 2011.

Having the MWH Recovery team already in place at the time of the devastating Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011 enabled a rapid response to undertake essential make-safe and emergency works. The increased size of the programme after the February earthquake required the team to be increased to a peak of 260 staff.


Project Scope

The programme covered 1,900 commercial and residential projects. Our services included assessment and procurement of Consultant Services, including fee structure, contract, assessment, recommendation and preparation, fee (cost control), consultant instruction and coordination.


Magnitude earthquake hit Canterbury on 4 September 2010

Individual projects that MWH Recovery project managed

Billion dollars of physical work value

 Project Challenge

While it is an overall program with KPIs to be adhered to, each individual project within the program has required full management from verification through to construction close out and documentation. At the outset of the program we developed a project control group and, in conjunction with our client, a governance board.


Project Solution / Result

MWH Recovery liaised closely with Vero and AA Insurance, the New Zealand Earthquake Commission, CERA, multiple local authorities and other stakeholders. This close interaction ultimately assisted the team to expedite the reinstatement effort, with demonstrated efficiency and cost optimisation gains over a ‘business as usual’ approach. The CRMS (Canterbury Reinstatement Management System) project management database was developed for the programme and procurement and management processes to enable the work to proceed efficiently.

A sample of the 1,900 individual projects that MWH Recovery project managed and which ran concurrently during the programme are:

  • Waimari Golf Course – New Clubhouse, Demolition of existing and resitting and construction of new club house (approximate value of $2m).
  • Ballantynes retail repair and refurbish Central City Christchurch (approximately $4m).
  • 158 Leinster Road office retail building major ground works and repair ($3m).
  • Nga Hau E Wha National Marae Pages Road ($3.4m).



Canterbury Earthquake

“We could not have achieved the significant progress that we have without MWH Recovery’s pure and genuine determination for our customers so that they move on with their lives.”

Justine Burns

Head of Canterbury Earthquake Response, AA Insurance

Check out the video for a look at how we helped clients and the community recover from this disaster

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