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Please note that the Learning Legacy website is currently being developed and will be available soon.

The Lessons from SCIRT



The spate of earthquakes that occurred in Christchurch and wider Canterbury during 2010 and 2011 resulted in very significant damage and disruption to the Christchurch horizontal infrastructure networks.

In response, Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) was formed and has the responsibility for repairing and replacing Christchurch’s three waters, roading and bridge networks as well as some retaining walls and stopbanks.


SCIRT is an alliance between Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), City Care, Downer, Fletcher Construction, Fulton Hogan, and McConnell Dowell.



Alliance contracting is a recognised way of achieving the best results from infrastructure programmes. Where scope is uncertain, risk cannot be clearly defined and speed of repair is critical, relationships between key stakeholders will drive success. SCIRT has been and continues to demonstrate this with its $2billion+ programme giving rise to many innovations right across the spectrum of its business from staff secondment and HR management protocols to  ‘competitive-collaborative’ rebuild implementation through to product and process technology developments. Innovation and efficiency is promoted, encouraged and rewarded throughout. SCIRT’s considerable achievement to date is being touted by many as a model for the future, not just in the ‘pressure-cooker’ environment of disaster rebuilding but in the more mundane ‘business-as-usual’ environment. 


The Learning Legacy purpose

The unique opportunity to explore and implement smarter and more effective ways of repairing and replacing Christchurch’s horizontal infrastructure is too good an opportunity to miss. SCIRT has a finite life, and in order that all the learnings from its earthquake repair and replacement programme are captured, documented, and disseminated, the SCIRT Learning Legacy project has been initiated.  Access to this information in planning prior to, and following, future high impact disasters will benefit New Zealand Inc. and more generally, other international communities that are located in high hazard zones.


Target audience

Governments, local authorities and large public asset owners in other major centres in NZ as well as other parts the world that are located in high earthquake (or other hazard) prone locations are anticipated to be primary beneficiaries and users of the knowledge that will be available through this learning legacy project.


The progressive rebuild of Christchurch’s vertical infrastructure such as commercial and industrial buildings, as well as residential and multi-residential will also potentially benefit from a knowledge of the SCIRT alliance approach to asset repair and replacement.


Academics and students studying response to natural hazards and subsequent rebuild programmes are also expected to be major users of the compiled legacy repository.


Primary deliverable

The SCIRT Learning Legacy will be developed into a comprehensive, easily navigated website that will be available for all to access. Its content will be organised into primary themes that are reflective of the separate areas of innovation that have flowed from SCIRT. The underlying analysis tools and data will be stored on the UC CESMIC digital archive for posterity sake.

Other channels of delivery such as workshops, lectures and seminars are also anticipated in order that the exposure of innovations resulting from the SCIRT programme is maximised for the benefit of all.


Who is involved

The UC Quake Centre has an agreement in place with SCIRT to assist them to prepare and deliver the learning legacy project. Resilient Organisations, UC CESIMIC and UC Quake Centre is working collaboratively with SCIRT to identify, document and disseminate the innovations flowing from the SCIRT horizontal infrastructure rebuild programme.



SCIRT officially commenced its rebuild programme on 22nd September 2011 and by February 2014, the rebuild programme was 43% complete.


The SCIRT Learning Legacy project commenced in January 2014 and will be completed in phases. The learning legacy project work is being prioritised in accordance with anticipated completion dates of the various design and construct work streams of SCIRT.  As most of the networks design tasks will be completed during 2014 by SCIRT, the initial priority for the learning legacy project is to capture all relevant information from this stream prior to that component of SCIRT being progressively wound down. Some aspects of the learning legacy project may continue on until SCIRT has completed its rebuild function, presently scheduled to be December 2016.






Project in collaboration with:



A recent indication of SCIRT’s achievement was its winning of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) prestigious Brunel Medal, awarded in recognition of excellence in civil engineering. 



A taste of what's to come ...


To get a flavour of the SCIRT Learning Legacy website that is currently under development, view the 'Proof of Concept', showing images of some of the key design features and functionality.


   Learning Legacy Website: Proof of Concept



Example resources


Here's an example of some of the resources that will be available on the Learning Legacy website, currently being developed.


1. Promotional Flyer


... more examples coming soon.




Need more information?


For up-to-date information on progress of the SCIRT Learning Legacy project and its findings to date please contact:







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