Learning the Lessons: The Role of Human Resources in the Christchurch Emergency
New Zealand Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 124-135, 2012
Posted: 31 Oct 2012
Date Written: October 30, 2012
This paper reports on the findings of an exploratory study which examined the challenges confronting human resource practitioners during the state of emergencies declared in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2010/2011. Specifically it explores the HR issues confronting local authority and governmental emergency management involved in the deployment of staff to the region. Both primary and secondary data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings indicate that there is an urgent need for the human resource management discipline to develop a sub-discipline specializing in emergency management. It is recommended that human resource management adopt a dual perspective to the development of strategies, specifically those designed to support deployed staff during a civil emergency. The paper has implications for both human resource and emergency management practitioners. Specifically, in ensuring that the lessons learned from the response to the Christchurch earthquake are used to inform future HR policies and practices by ensuring they fit within the appropriate emergency management framework.
Keywords: human resource planning, emergency management, deployment of staff, occupational health and safety
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