Sustaining democracy in disaster: The seeds of recovery


Bronwyn Hayward argues that despite the New Zealand Government’s attempts to limit democracy after the 2010-2012 earthquakes – by breaching the Constitution and excluding local voices in decision-making – innovative citizen actions showed alternative, more imaginative and democratic responses to disaster recovery. One example is the Student Volunteer ‘Army’ who cleared mud and silt, and organised through Facebook.

The self-coordinated Canterbury Student Volunteer ‘Army. Photo credit: Eve Welch

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