The Canterbury Earthquakes and refugee communities


  • Jay Marlowe Senior lecturer at the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the University of Auckland.
  • Lucy Lou Master of Social Work (Professional) student at the University of Auckland.



canterbury earthquakes, christchurch earthquakes, disaster, refugees, diversity, social work practice, disaster risk reduction,


The Canterbury earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks have presented a number of challenges forresettled refugee communities living in this region. These events highlight the need to recognise the diversity within culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations for effective disaster preparedness and response initiatives. This paper presents a pilot study of focus groups conducted with the Ethiopian, Afghan and Bhutanese communities about their perspectives and responses to this particular disaster. The participant comments illustrate both the forms of resilience and potential vulnerabilities within these distinct communities and reveal how social work can play an important role in disaster risk reduction strategies.


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How to Cite

Marlowe, J., & Lou, L. (2016). The Canterbury Earthquakes and refugee communities. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(2), 58–68.