Andrea McDonald

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Andrea McDonald

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Post Disaster Recovery: Lessons Learned from the Canterbury SDI Programme

Andrea McDonald, Deputy Chief Executive, Land Information New Zealand


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5 Things You Will Learn

  1. The importance of mulit-party cooperation in disaster recovery..
  2. The power of location information enable rebuild
  3. Demonstration of the return on investment
  4. The difficulty of post-emergency technology transition
  5. How elements of spatial data infrastructure need to work together to create sustained benefits.

Target Audience

Solution providers, service delivery agencies, geospatial data designers, project managers.

Presentation Overview

In the wake of the devastation caused to the Canterbury region of New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 by a series of earthquakes, a number of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) related projects were established to help assist and accelerate the rebuild process. This 3-year work programme is now complete. This paper discusses some of the key lessons that have emerged, technical and organisational, and how they are being used to shape ongoing work to develop elements of New Zealand’s national SDI. In the immediate aftermath of the 22nd February 2011 earthquake, which caused significant loss of life and infrastructure disruption, the use of geospatial information and associated technology became invaluable to the agencies and organisations involved in the response and recovery. They were also widely used by the public and volunteer groups to find out what was happening where, and to help plan response activities within those communities. Recognising the utility and value of this, the New Zealand Government provided approximately $5 million funding to eight projects focused on the use of SDI concepts to help improve the planning and execution of the rebuild process. This “Canterbury SDI Programme” was managed by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and concluded in 2015. LINZ is now in the process of transitioning some of the projects to business-as-usual operations and reviewing how lessons learned from the projects can help influence the development of New Zealand’s national SDI.


Andrea joined Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) in June 2011 as Manager Hydrography, and in 2014 became Deputy Chief Executive, Location System. Prior to this, her career has been in the New Zealand and Australian food industry in General Management and Sales and Marketing.

The Location System Group at LINZ is responsible for the organisation’s Policy and Regulatory functions, and also for leading a number of cross sector data programmes including the New Zealand Geospatial Office, and the Open Government Information and Data Programme.