Hoang T, Noy I. 2020. Wellbeing after a managed retreat: Observations from a large New Zealand program. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 48:101589. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101589.
Managed retreat programs aim to relocate households out of harm's way. These initiatives generate highly contentious and emotional debate within affected communities, and between them and the government. Given the fraught implementation of managed retreats, understanding what happens to residents who are displaced by these programs is important. We examine the wellbeing of the people who were forced to move as part of a large managed-retreat program that was implemented in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, after the 2011 earthquake. We consider three indicators of subjective wellbeing: quality of life, stress, and emotional wellbeing. Demographic factors, health conditions, and the type of government compensation the residents accepted were all significant determinants of the wellbeing of the residents who were forced to move. More social relations, better financial circumstances, and the perception of better government communication were also all associated positively with a higher quality of life, less stress, and higher emotional wellbeing.