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Christchurch earthquake experiences inspire Nepal

Press Release – National Reconstruction Authority

Nepali earthquake reconstruction officials will be boarding their plane home this weekend with a treasury of learnings from their two-week study tour to New Zealand.Christchurch earthquake experiences inspire Nepali earthquake officials

Nepali earthquake reconstruction officials will be boarding their plane home this weekend with a treasury of learnings from their two-week study tour to New Zealand.

A 19-strong delegation from the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), and representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, as well as the Kathmandu Metropolitan City have met with several agencies in Wellington, Kaikoura and Canterbury to learn about New Zealand’s response to its devastating earthquakes.

“The New Zealand authorities and officials have been extremely generous in sharing their experiences and we will take home many new ideas that will enable us to think outside our current boundaries,” says Head of Delegation Dr Chandra Shrestha.

The NRA executive says that his colleagues have been particularly interested in New Zealand’s people-centred planning through consultation, using contractor alliances like SCIRT and NCTIR to tackle large infrastructure projects and are considering a national earthquake scheme like EQC.

On the flipside, Dr Shrestha says that the New Zealand visit also confirmed the Nepali reconstruction programme has been overwhelmingly positive after the devastating 2015 earthquake in the Gorkha region.

Over 80 per cent of the million damaged and destroyed homes have already been repaired, as well as most of the 7000 schools and 2000 hospitals affected by the earthquake.

“We are also proud that we have saved so many of our heritage buildings. Some of them are 4000 years old, so the cultural and emotional significance plays a big part in our decisions, while financial arguments seem to be dominating the discussions in New Zealand,” says Dr Shrestha.

During their intensive two weeks, the delegation met with officials at DPMC, MBIE, MCDEM, EQC, LINZ, Wellington City Council, GNS Science, Massey and Canterbury Universities, Christchurch City Council, Otakaro, Regenerate Christchurch, and many other agencies, covering engineering challenges, disaster recovery, earthquake insurance, reconstruction, improved science and resilience programmes.

The delegation was also hosted by Ngāi Tahu at the Tuahiwi Marae in Kaiapoi and Dr. Shrestha emphasised and expressed appreciations of the similarities between the Māori culture and Hindu culture in Nepal.

“Both cultures recognise the sacred importance of the world around us, our rivers, our mountains and what we see in the skies. So even though we are thousands of kilometers apart we have a lot more in common than what sets us apart.”

The NRA study trip is supported and funded by the European Union through the Nepal EU Acion for Recovery and Reconstruction (NEARR), who provide governance and technical advisory services to develop more capacity within the NRA.


Nepal was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015, in the Gorkha region area with severe aftershocks for many more weeks.

The impact on the country was devastating as 8.790 people perished, 22,300 were injured and 800,000 people were displaced.

Nearly a million homes were destroyed or damaged, along with 2600 government buildings and 7000 schools.

The total cost of the 2015 earthquake is estimated to be around $NZ11 billion.

About the NRA

The National Reconstruction Authority is the legally mandated agency for leading and managing the earthquake recovery and reconstruction in Nepal.

NRA provides strategic guidance to identify and address to the priorities for recovery and reconstruction.

The NRA’s overall goal is to promptly complete the reconstruction works of the structures damaged by the devastating earthquake of 25 April 2015 and subsequent aftershocks, in a sustainable, resilient and planned manner to promote national interest and provide social justice by making resettlement and translocation of the persons and families displaced by the earthquake.

The NRA have been supported an owner-driven reconstruction of residential homes, in which owners receive a lump sum of support from the Government, around $US3000, but have to raise the rest of the costs themselves. An average cost to construct a house is estimated to be around $US10,000.

Only one per cent of the population had insurance cover before the earthquake of 2015.


The European Union (EU) is supporting the government and people of Nepal with reconstruction and recovery measures after the earthquake in 2015.

This includes a State Building Contract (budget support) of 90 million euros, and the contracting of the German Consulting Group GFA to establish a ‘Reconstruction Facility’ under the ‘Nepal EU Action for Recovery and Reconstruction’ (NEARR).

The Facility provides technical assistance, advisory services and products, and capacity development for the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), responsible for the oversight and coordination of the earthquake recovery and reconstruction process.

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