• Canterbury;
  • Darfield;
  • disaster;
  • earthquake;
  • organisation;
  • resilience

This paper presents the preliminary findings of a study on the resilience and recovery of organisations following the Darfield earthquake in New Zealand on 4 September 2010. Sampling included organisations proximal and distal to the fault trace, organisations located within central business districts, and organisations from seven diverse industry sectors. The research captured information on the challenges to, the impacts on, and the reflections of the organisations in the first months of recovery. Organisations in central business districts and in the hospitality sector were most likely to close, while organisations that had perishable stock and livestock were more heavily reliant on critical services. Staff well-being, cash flow, and customer loss were major concerns for organisations across all sectors. For all organisations, the most helpful factors in mitigating the effects of the earthquake were their relationship with staff members, the design and type of buildings, and critical service continuity or swift reinstatement of services.