23 February 2011
Poor Christchurch has been rocked apart by another major earthquake.
When the September 2010 quake struck, the amazingly minor consequences seemed to confirm a relationship between good governance and natural disaster protection. This is a theory of Daniel Kaufmann who, when at the World Bank, compiled annual good governance indicators. He used the difference in effect of earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, and mining incidents in Chile and China as illustrations. Trustworthy officials ensure regimes where public protection is effective. Unfortunately the coal mining disaster in New Zealand and the latest earthquake could raise questions about his theory. New Zealand always rates well in the world wide governance indicators.