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dc.contributor.authorMontgomery, Roy L.en
dc.identifier.citationMontgomery, R. (2018). The Port Hills fire and the rhetoric of lessons learned. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 22, 85-95.en
dc.description.abstractSince the Port Hills fire of February 2017, several reviews and promises of improvement have been generated from local government up to central government level. The incident was the final trigger for a government-commissioned investigation which recommended the biggest overhaul of New Zealand’s civil defence arrangements since 2002. Change is clearly required, and it has been openly acknowledged by some agencies that their response was deficient in certain respects. Through documentary analysis of reviews, reports, newspaper or media articles and social media sources, this article asks: What has changed? It questions the rhetoric of lessons learned that has accompanied such reviews especially in relation to how these two words are defined in the lessons management literature. It is argued that no integrated, shared-responsibility-focussed review, free from any pre-emptive terms of reference, has been conducted to date. Rather, government and agencies have exhibited a form of elite panic, coined by Chess and others, which has been manifested as review panic in this particular instance. The article also draws attention to the fact that the Port Hills fire was not a natural disaster. At least one fire was deliberately lit if not both. It was in effect a $30m crime which involved the loss of human life. This reality appears to have been overlooked by organisations that appear too keen to treat fire events as simply another dimension of natural hazards management rather than taking a finer-grained risk management approach. An alternative approach is signalled, especially in light of a central government policy signal released in August 2018 to introduce fly-in teams during major incidents, which could extend into creating a situational awareness group made up of local and external expertise. Opportunities and initiatives are identified for better engagement with local communities such as funding for community response plans and paying closer attention to community social media outlets.en
dc.publisherSchool of Psychology, Massey University, New Zealanden
dc.relationThe original publication is available from - School of Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand -
dc.rights© The Author 2018.en
dc.subjectlessons learneden
dc.subjectlessons managementen
dc.subjectlearning legacyen
dc.subjectelite panicen
dc.subjectsituational awarenessen
dc.subjectsocial mediaen
dc.subjectenabling communitiesen
dc.subjectSocial Psychologyen
dc.titleThe Port Hills fire and the rhetoric of lessons learneden
dc.typeJournal Article
lu.contributor.unitLincoln Universityen
lu.contributor.unitFaculty of Environment, Society and Designen
lu.contributor.unitDepartment of Environmental Managementen
dc.subject.anzsrc040604 Natural Hazardsen
dc.subject.anzsrc120501 Community Planningen
dc.subject.anzsrc170113 Social and Community Psychologyen
dc.subject.anzsrc1103 Clinical Sciencesen
dc.subject.anzsrc1702 Cognitive Sciencesen
dc.relation.isPartOfAustralasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studiesen
pubs.notesPort Hills Wildfire Special Issue URL on PDF brokenen
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Faculty of Environment, Society and Design
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Faculty of Environment, Society and Design/DEM
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office/QE18

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