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Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Issue 1, pp 441–464 | Cite as

Interpreting Auckland’s volcanic governance through an institutional lens

  • Catherine Murray
  • Garry McDonald
  • Shane Cronin
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper presents critical reflections on the governance of natural hazards, in the context of New Zealand’s Auckland volcanic field (AVF). The AVF is unusual given that there is an urban area built on this active field, and the potential for a volcanic eruption is clearly identified as a natural hazard. The occurrence of another volcanic event on the AVF seems certain. The timing of the next event remains, however, enigmatic. The problem in terms of governance of a natural volcanic hazard in Auckland is a matter not of ‘if’, but ‘when’. Using the AVF as a case study, we place existing governance structures within a New Institutional Economics framework and, in turn, critique the role of key institutional actors across time, using Williamson’s Economist 146(1):23–58, (1998) four levels of institutional analysis. In particular, we note the key challenge of incorporating time into AVF governance and socio-economic planning. Overall, this paper provides a theoretical framework for evaluating disaster recovery, in this case taking the existing legal and institutional framework of volcanic risk governance in Auckland, to assist the practical management of a low probability, but potentially high-impact natural hazard.

Keywords

Auckland volcanic field Timeframes Polycentric governance Time in economics 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the support of the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology’s International Investment Opportunity Fund, which funded the project ‘Facing the Challenge of Auckland’s Volcanism’ (MAUX0808).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Murray
    • 1
  • Garry McDonald
    • 1
  • Shane Cronin
    • 2
  1. 1.Market Economics LtdAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Volcanic Risk SolutionsMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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