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Testing indicators of resilience for rural communities

September 2019

Publication: Rural Society
Author(s): W. Kaye-Blake, K. Stirrat, M. Smith, S. Fielke

The resilience of rural communities is a concern, both in itself and for its effects on the agricultural sector. This article investigates the possibility of using official statistics to measure community resilience.

The resilience of rural communities – their ability to adapt to change over time – was investigated through community workshops in four rural communities (Huntly, Te Kuiti, Taumarunui, Dannekirke) and analysis of data from the 2013 New Zealand Census. The study looked at what residents reported as driving resilience and showed that economic and institutional drivers were more influential than social, cultural, or environmental drivers. Overall, this matched resilience estimations based on official statistics. This shows it is possible to have an empirical measure of resilience, both from community and Census sources.

Originally published as a report for Our Land and Water Challenge, Client Report Number: RE450/2017/056

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