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The value of a national ‘Lifelines Forum’ for resilience – insights from Tauranga

In this guest blog, Resilient Organisations’ Tracy Hatton shares her thoughts on her recent participation in the NZ Lifelines Utilities Forum and on the value of bringing together essential infrastructure and service providers.

Tracy Hatton

“Sharing knowledge, best practice and lessons learnt – through both failures and success – is a crucial part of building resilience.  New Zealand’s annual Lifelines Utilities Forum provides the opportunity for essential infrastructure and service providers to do this. Attendees include utilities providers for water supply, wastewater, stormwater, electricity, gas, telecommunications, roads, rail, airports and ports, as well as researchers, emergency management professionals and central government agencies.

This year’s Forum was held in Tauranga.  Tauranga City Council shared their long-term program to create resilient infrastructure, emphasising the need to understand all hazards to effectively prioritise investment. A series of presentations looking at climate change risks, recent flood event impacts and water infrastructure failures highlighted the increasing resilience challenges posed by ageing infrastructure, rising sea level and increasing storm frequency and severity?

ResOrgs presented on our work with the Resilience Shift’s Potable Water Primer that outlines challenges and recommendations for creating resilient water supplies.

Our current pandemic also featured with presentations from Government agencies and private companies involved in the response.  This fascinating session showed some of the serious COVID response challenges and the lesser known unintended consequences of decisions (such as the closing of butchers leading to welfare issues for pigs with nowhere to keep them).

The event is extremely useful and if you work in critical infrastructure in a region or country that does not yet have this kind of event, why not get started on forming one now?”

If you want to know more about presentations at this event, all slides can be found at http://www.alg.org.nz/events/national-lifelines-forum/.  To ensure you are on the invite list for the next event, get in touch with the organisers at http://www.nzlifelines.org.nz/.”

With thanks to Tracy Hatton and the team at Resilient Organisations

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