Mike Mendonça, Wellington's first CRO
The Chief Resilience Officer
The Chief Resilience Officer is an innovative feature of 100 Resilient Cities’ resilience building program.
The role is specifically designed to break down existing barriers at the local level, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliances and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all city residents, with a particular focus on low-income and vulnerable populations.
Mike Mendonça is Wellington’s first Chief Resilience Officer. With an MBA and Diploma in Humanities from Massey University and a background in the New Zealand Army, and local and national government, Mike brings a broad range of experience to the role.
"Resilience is more than simply having a civil defence kit and strong buildings"
“Resilience is more than simply having a civil defence kit and strong buildings - those things should be a given. A modern city like ours needs to survive, adapt and grow, no matter what shocks and stresses we might experience”, says Mike
“Apart from the obvious things like earthquakes and pandemics, we need to be resilient to stresses like high unemployment, the effects of climate change, water shortages or a major economic downturn
“Resilience to these things can’t always be bought off the shelf or designed by an engineer. But resilience can be a state of mind and an attitude that embraces adaptability and positivity. We kiwis pride ourselves on these things.”
A global partnership
Appointing a CRO is an essential element of Wellington’s resilience building partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation.
The 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) organization is part of a $164M commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world.
Wellington’s engagement with 100 Resilient Cities kicked off on 28 September with a “Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop”, and under Mike’s leadership, the city is poised to take the next step in its resilience planning. The position is fully funded by 100RC.
Resilience Strategy - Greater Christchurch
The Resilience Journey
Melbourne and Christchurch were selected as Resilient cities in round one.
Mike Gillooly, Christchurch's Resilience Officer and Toby Kent, Melbourne's Resilience Officer, both spoke at Wellington's agenda-setting workshop, sharing the key lessons they have learned, and challenges they have faced so far.
Wellington's Chief Resilience Officer will benefit from the opportunity to network with his global counterparts and other experts on an on-going basis.