Hi, My name is Sarah Miles.
I am a resident of Christchurch City in New Zealand and author of “The Christchurch Fiasco and the Insurance Aftershock: its implications for New Zealand and Beyond”.
Driven by my experiences I wrote this book as a commentary on the post-earthquake reconstruction phase of the City after the 2010-2012 earthquakes.
In the past two years the private insurance industry has failed miserably to achieve any decent level of progress with the reconstruction of residential properties in the Canterbury region and has thus contributed to the on-going misery of the affected population. It is my opinion that this is not merely accidental.
The Canterbury events are in actuality of concern to all New Zealanders for a variety of reasons. And in my blog it is my intention to share the background information I have gathered and analysed from both New Zealand and from other disaster stricken areas in the world. It is my hope that in this way New Zealand property owners will be better able to protect themselves.
In my blog I want to share the outcomes of my research with others. I intend to bring a better awareness of the underlying issues behind the state of affairs in Canterbury and other communities affected by natural disasters. The last decades have seen an alarming increase in global natural disasters affecting hundreds of thousands people. There are many opinions as to the causes of these events. What we know for sure is that it is likely that in the years to come these natural disasters will increase in number. I truly believe that now is the time to better prepare ourselves and take the appropriate measures.
I would also like my readers to consider some aspects that are not covered in the general media but which nevertheless become increasingly obvious as you research them. I would like to share these findings with you and hope you will comment on them and share your own experiences. I would like to know what you think about the concepts that I raise in this blog and my book. Feel free to engage me in conversation. These are global issues and a global dialogue is necessary.
I intend to bring the following topics to your attention:
- corporate capitalism and disaster capitalism;
- the role of government in disaster management;
- the role of private enterprise in disaster management;
- the role of the ’free press’ and media post disaster;
- insurance policyholder protection and the justice system in New Zealand;
- corporate financial interests and government complicity here and around the world;
- the tension between shareholder profit and policyholder protection
- many other related themes;
- on occasion ‘stuff’ that does not fit neatly into these categories.
Occasionally I will also write about resources I have found especially useful as I carried out my research.
You will probably think of other areas that need coverage as well. Don’t hesitate to bring them up. I really look forward to hearing your experiences and views on these issues.
I am fortunate to have had a pretty varied background up to this point which includes among others law and mediation; psychology and psychotherapy. I have worked extensively in these areas in Europe and New Zealand. I have also become a very keen mosaic artist and usually exhibit my work at least once a year. I am a big fan of Bikram yoga and use it as a way of staying fit and grounded. Occasionally I like to spend an evening out swing dancing, I love the music and the movement.
After the earthquake my husband and I were involved as therapists in the immediate aftermath and it was in those weeks that I saw first-hand the personal and social cost of the earthquakes in Canterbury. This experience and my own on-going battle with my insurance company (State Insurance) has provided me with the impetus to follow these events up in a more systematic way. My experiences in Christchurch with the aftermath of this disaster, along with my professional background, have led me to ask some pretty searching questions as to how to manage a recovery including protecting the interests of people. I strongly believe that with the help of your experiences and insights we can find some answers to these questions. I challenge you to help create a relevant, insightful and vibrant platform that stimulates ideas and encourages freedom of thought and action. If you believe in a participatory, democratic society, then this blog is for you.
I typically post at least a couple of times a week. In order to make sure that you do not miss my latest posts check out the Archive.
Enjoy my blog page, I hope you feel challenged.
~Future Proofing for a sustainable, participatory, democratic society.
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