Chryssy Potsiou, President, International Federation of Surveyors

Dear colleagues,

A warm welcome to the FIG Working Week 2016 which will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand 2-6 May 2016. This Working Week is the second in the term of this Council, and we are looking forward to welcoming you to this spectacular destination and exceptionally interesting event.

Faithful to our FIG motto “Ensuring the Rapid Response to change- Ensuring the Surveyor of tomorrow”, the overall theme of this year’s Working Week, “Recovery from Disaster”, is chosen to highlight that we are organizing this conference in a very special and symbolic place that suffered immensely from the devastating earthquakes of 2011 and is recovering successfully, ensuring a better future. Surveyors with their innovative expertise have contributed significantly to this rapid recovery and have demonstrated the value of our profession.

As humanity experiences all types of equally harmful disasters natural, social and economic, surveyors are committed to make a global change happen quickly. They focus to develop tools and solutions that may both prevent disasters to happen or help people recover quickly if these disasters actually occur. This Working Week will be different in many respects, and special in a sense that not only will the plenary sessions concentrate on various kinds of disasters and the surveyors’ rapid response to them; the Working Week also offers special sessions and other sessions in the technical program that will cover this theme.

In FIG we are determined to work together, all actors of change. Our members cooperate closely with the various UN bodies, the World Bank, the regional professional associations, other professional bodies as well as with their own governments. In this great collective journey we have set our targets and we work hard to see tangible results in all places and for all people, taking into account the various local needs, specific realities, capacity and urgent priorities in order to develop fit-for-purpose solutions with a particular focus to those most vulnerable. Starting with a successful and collective kick-off event last February, our current goals and targets are the result of a whole year of intensive consultation and engagement of the FIG council, the Commissions, the Networks, the Task Forces, the member associations, corporate members and affiliate members with the above mentioned International Organizations, the society and key stakeholders, always listening carefully to the requirements of our members.

At this point, coming close to the FIG Working Week 2016, I would like to thank the local organizers and the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors, NZIS, that they have suggested Christchurch to be the venue for our annual major event and convinced the General Assembly back in 2012 to vote for this destination. Also I congratulate them for setting out such a supremely ambitious vision and for their very big contribution and work to make this event so special.

We all agreed that New Zealand is a fabulous destination for an FIG Working Week –for many it may seem a “once in lifetime” experience. Do not let the distance disturb you. For the potential participants of the Working Week it will be a unique chance to visit this very special place, and even get this one unique opportunity to experience with your own eyes how devastating a natural disaster can be and what surveyors and others have done and can do in the recovery phase. Visiting New Zealand, Christchurch and participating in the Working Week may give you as participant a unique hands-on experience.

The Working Week normally takes place in a conference center. The Conference Center of Christchurch was destroyed during the earthquakes, and the plan was to have it built up again before 2016. This turned out to be rather ambitious. This time we are inviting you to a very different conference venue: the Horncastle Arena and Addington Raceway which will certainly give you another kind of experience than at the earlier FIG Working Weeks. Enough new and modern hotels are built up again to accommodate all participants.
As we envisage a world free of poverty, fear and inequality, where life is safe and growth is resilient and sustainable, we are looking forward to seeing you in Christchurch.

Chryssy Potsiou
FIG President

Mark Allan, President, New Zealand Institute of Surveyors

On behalf of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS), it is my privilege to welcome you all to Christchurch, New Zealand. For many of you the decision to travel to New Zealand will have been on the basis that this is an opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As your hosts we are working to make sure that your time in New Zealand lives up to those high expectations.

This week long conference brings together the international community of surveying and spatial professionals to share innovative science and technology solutions with policymakers and stakeholders. I encourage surveying and spatial specialists, policy and decision makers, students, practitioners and stakeholders to engage with our speakers and to join in the discussions on the important issues affecting the international surveying and spatial community today and in the future.

The FIG Working Week 2016 theme of “Recovery from Disaster” was developed against a backdrop of a host city recovering from the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence. However around the world, particularly following the Sendai Declaration of 2015 there is a renewed sense of urgency to integrate both disaster risk reduction and the building of resilience into policy, plans, programmes and budgets. These efforts in the areas of sustainable development and poverty eradication are focussed on making the world safer from the risk of disasters for present and future generations.

It is my hope that the valuable lessons learnt and shared not only by speakers from my own home city of Christchurch but by speakers from other countries will motivate each of us to better serve our own communities.

The organising committee has crafted a wonderful programme of plenary speakers, technical sessions, exhibitions, technical tours and social events which we trust you will find rewarding and sustaining.

I would like to extend, on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors, our thanks to the members of FIG for the opportunity to host this prestigious event here in New Zealand.

We look forward to extending our world renowned kiwi hospitality to you all.

Mark Allan
NZIS President

Simon Ironside, Conference Co-Director 

Dear Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors, Accompanying Partners, Colleagues and Friends
Kia ora koutou katoa. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the 78th FIG Working Week, being held in our beautiful but slightly battered city of Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island.

The decision of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors to bid for, and ultimately win, the privilege of hosting the 78th FIG Working Week in Christchurch in May 2016 was a deliberate one. Christchurch, known as the Garden City as I’m sure you’ll discover, experienced significant damage, trauma and loss of life as a consequence of a devastating period of earthquakes and aftershocks. This began with a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit Christchurch, surrounding towns and the Canterbury region on 4 September 2010, followed by a deadly magnitude 6.3 aftershock on 22 February 2011 and ongoing significant aftershocks.

GNS Science has reported that the region experienced 11,200 aftershocks in the two year period following the 22 February 2012 event. Fortunately these have substantially subsided and Christchurch is now in an exciting period of regrowth and regeneration. The rebuilding of Christchurch forms a poignant but ultimately positive backdrop to this year’s Working Week.

The Working Week theme is Recovery from Disaster and reflects New Zealand’s response to Christchurch earthquakes sequence. Many inhabitants throughout the world face various kinds of disasters and surveying and spatial professionals are key contributors to disaster mitigation, response and reconstruction.

Christchurch surveyors and spatial professionals have some interesting stories to tell and we look forward to sharing the knowledge we have gained through a professionally challenging but rewarding period with our friends and colleagues from other parts of New Zealand and overseas.

We have compiled an exciting technical and social programme for you. New Zealanders often travel long distances to attend international events and we are well aware that you will be feeling the effects of your travel to attend the Working Week. We sympathise and trust the pace of the programme will not be too taxing for you.

We hope you will find time to see some of our beautiful country. Christchurch is the gateway to the captivating South Island, which contains some of the most spectacular, dramatic and beautiful landforms in the world.
Welcome to Christchurch and thank you for your participation in what is the largest gathering of surveying and spatial, professionals ever held in New Zealand. I hope you are able to learn and enjoy in equal measure and please excuse the road cones!

Simon Ironside
Conference Co-Director

Lianne Dalziel, Mayor, Christchurch City Council

It gives me great pleasure to welcome members of the International Federation of Surveyors to Christchurch in 2016.

It is an honour for our city to host such a prestigous event, and the Working Week is an opportunity  to bring together a wealth of knowlegde and expertise and for members of FIG to share and  learn from each other.

I trust  that while delegates are here,  they will take some time to  enjoy our hospitality and visit some of our city's attractions.

Christchurch is bouncing back from the earthquakes in 2010/2011 with renewed energy and spiret, seen across the city. The rebuild is beginning to gather pace and which means  that considerable progress will have been made by the time you arrive in 2016. The Lonely Planet and the New York Times  say Christchurch is  one of the best places to visit - the energy and creativity should inspire your conference.

Once again, I wish you all potential delegates a very warm welcome.

Kind regards,
Lianne Dalziel