Stories

 

 

 

                                                        

                                                        

 

 Q & A with Dr Rob Bell

Dr Rob Bell of NIWA co-leads our Coastal theme, and his career spans nearly 40 years working on coastal management, coastal hazards and climate change. We started by asking Rob about his recent Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

Q & A with Dr Sally Potter

We meet Dr Sally Potter of GNS Science, who co-leads our Weather Theme. Find out how Sally came to specialise in hazard warnings, and about a recent award-winning project looking at aftershock warnings.

 

 

                                                        

 

Student profile: Nhi Le

Nhi’s PhD project aims to find out how Social Network Analysis (SNA) can be applied to evaluate the resilience of rural supply chains.

 

 

                                                      

 

Student profile: Ngoc Le

Ngoc is examining supply chain agility in rural settings, focusing on three key aspects of agility; visibility, responsiveness, and network reshaping after disruptions. 

 

 

                                                    

 

Student profile: Nwadike Amarachukwu Nnadozie

Amarachukwu is a PhD student in out Urban programme. He is using the Christchurch and Kaikōura quakes as case-studies to better understand the impacts of building code amendments on post-disaster reconstruction.

 

 

                                                  

      

Student profile: Hauiti Hakopa

Hauiti has recently completed his PhD at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. His work explores pūrākau and how Māori connect to their ancestral landscapes, or what he terms the sacred geographies of belonging.

 

 

                                                

      

Towards a stronger Kaikōura: a community event

Kaikōura community members gathered to hear from researchers who have been working in the area since the 2016 quake.

 

 

                                              

      

Student Profile: Ameila Lin

Amelia is a civil engineer and PhD student, working on the exposure and criticality of infrastructure networks across New Zealand. 

 

 

                                            

      

Social Media and Digital Communities workshop

Workshop takes a closer look at the role of digitally empowered communities during disaster events.

 

 

                                          

      

Q & A with Christina Hanna

We’re celebrating Earth Hour by chatting with a PhD student of ours who is concerned with sustainability and combatting climate change both in her research, and personal life.

 

 

                                        

      

Student profile: Sam Olufson

Sam’s research aims to build understanding of managed retreat so it can be more readily considered as a coastal adaptation option.

 

 

                                        

      

Building community resilience

Gail is a postdoctoral researcher in our Governance programme who is examining conceptual thinking behind governance and the politics of operationalising resilience.

 

 

                                      

      

Student profile: Laura Tilley

Laura is working with local emergency management, hazard analysts and the Kaikōura community to better understand evacuation dynamics following the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and tsunami.

 

 

                                    

      

Tourism and food security research in post-quake Kaikōura

Gradon Dirpose is investigating the dynamics of rural disaster response strategies and recovery trajectories in Kaikōura and North Canterbury.

 

 

                                  

      

Student profile: Mat Darling

Mat is working to understand how exposed our ‘transient’ visitors (tourists, seasonal workers etc) are to disaster risk as they travel around the country.

 

 

                                

      

Student profile: Safa Al-sachit

Safa is building an algorithm that will protect our power system transmission lines in a natural disaster event. 

 

 

                              

      

The rural impact of natural hazards

PhD candidate Tyler Barton is looking at the impacts caused by natural hazards in rural areas and how these affect individuals, businesses, and communities.

 

 

                            

      

The 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence: a legacy of research collaboration

Canterbury quakes research has resulted in enduring relationships between our researchers and a range of stakeholder organizations.

 

 

                          

      

Student Profile: David Wither

David’s PhD thesis involves interviewing North Canterbury residents to understand social and community resilience to natural hazards in the area.

 

 

                        

      

Q & A with Dr Caroline Orchiston

To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re hearing from Alpine Fault expert Dr Caroline Orchiston from our Rural research programme. 

 

 

                      

      

Student profile: Niransha Rodrigo

Niransha is an Urban programme PhD student studying ‘Anchor Projects’ which are intended to boost local recovery after a natural disaster. 

 

 

                    

      

Being part of Generation Zero

We speak with Lisa McLaren who, when not researching citizen science and community resilience to hazard events, is a convener and spokesperson for Generation Zero, a youth-led organisation helping New Zealand cut carbon pollution.

 

 

                  

      

Student profile: Ashley Rudkevitch

Ashley is examining community initiatives after the Kaikōura earthquake to understand what these organised activities mean in terms of community resilience. 

 

 

                

      

Operationalising resilience through a practice-science collaboration: A match made in heaven?

Working on the resilience “Warrant of Fitness” project, which is aimed at testing, refining, and enhancing the New Zealand Resilience Index (NZRI).

 

 

              

      

Awkward first data: Giving the DIVE Platform a second chance

Increasing engagement with DIVE and exploring ways to deliver on the site’s promise to provide a place to make resilience data more visible.

 

 

            

      

What gets measured gets done: The New Zealand Resilience Index

Developing a tool to help decision-makers stay on track as we find ways to build disaster resilience in our communities, environments, and economies.

 

 

          

      

Behind the scenes: Chris Bowie and Ellie Kay on resilience measurement in New Zealand

A profile on two up-and-coming young researchers who have been working in the Trajectories team.

 

 

        

      

Student profile: Becca Fraser

Becca is working to describe and visualise aspects of disaster resilience in New Zealand’s rural communities

 

 

      

      

Locally-augmented resilience measurement in New Zealand

Extending the New Zealand Resilience Index (NZRI) for specific regions and urban areas to help local and regional authorities better understand their community’s capacity to survive and thrive in the face of disaster.

 

 

    

Science and strategy for better results

Contributing to the ‘Measuring and monitoring progress’ section of the National Disaster Resilience Strategy to ensure effective assessment of whether or not we are improving resilience. 

 

 

  

Managed retreat: Is the RMA up to it?

Research is underway to determine whether the Resource Management Act can enable managed retreat of communities away from areas facing increasing risk of inundation from the sea or exacerbated coastal erosion.

 

 

  

Operationalising resilience: A heuristic framework for analysis

An examination of the kinds of resilience that are being delivered in Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

 

  

Corridor Forums: Working together for a more resilient transport network

An innovative pilot forum is bringing stakeholders, investors and users together and harnessing future thinking techniques to increase the resilience of our transport system. 

 

 

  

Resilience Governance in practice

Two of our research programmes have been working together on ways to coordinate resilience building efforts between different governing authorities in New Zealand. 

 

 

 

Student profile: Christina Hanna

Christina is exploring how managed retreat is applied internationally and in New Zealand, in order to examine and develop managed retreat governance.

 

 

 

Student profile: Gabriele Frigerio Porta

Gabriele is using statistical modelling to understand how the interaction of hazard events occurring in the same space and within a suitable time window can affect the occurrence of secondary (triggered) events

 

 

 

Student profile: Katherine Hore

Kat is spending long periods of time living in Franz Josef to investigate the different initiatives being undertaken by and with residents to reduce hazard risk.

 

 

 

Modelling multi-hazard impact scenarios to better inform communities and emergency services

PhD researcher Alex Dunant is investigating how we can map out the interaction of hazards.

 

 

 

Franz Josef: Developing resilience in a community at risk

Franz Josef is vulnerable to a range of hazard events, and the community needs to ensure it is resilient enough to live through, and prosper after, any future major hazard event.

 

 

 

The AF8+ scenario

Hazard programme researchers have been working to extend Project AF8’s 7-day hazard impact scenario to 10 years post-quake, in order to assess the longer-term impacts on response and recovery.

 

 

 

Student profile: Cuong Nguyen

Cuong’s PhD projects include investigating how insurance impacted residential recovery after the Canterbury quakes, and how coastal hazard perception is impacting property values on the Kāpiti Coast.

 

 

 

The Wellington Lifelines Regional Resilience Project

Investigating how co-ordinated infrastructure planning and investment can improve the resilience of New Zealand’s capital city to earthquake events.

 

 

Building the resilience of local economies to the flow-on impacts of natural hazard events

The direct impacts of natural hazard events often lead to substantial indirect impacts when goods or services are suddenly not able to be produced, purchased or transported.

 

 

Dismal research of a boring topic:
An economic investigation of disaster insurance

The 2011 Christchurch Earthquake was the most insured earthquake ever, but what were the impacts of all this insurance cover during the city’s recovery? 

 

 

 

The importance of personal relationships in risk mitigation

Businesses have been found to go over and above their contractual obligations to help communities hit by a natural hazard event like an earthquake.

 

 

Reclaiming Māori oral histories to understand tsunami hazard and history

Exploring Māori ancestral experience with tsunami(s) on Rangitoto (D’Urville Island) as described in a ‘folk tale’ called the Rival Wizards.

 

 

 

Kura e Tai Āniwhaniwha: Tsunami risk reduction activities for kura in the Hawke’s Bay

Developing tsunami education activities for Kura Kaupapa Māori located in Hawkes Bay’s tsunami evacuation zones.

 

 

The role of te reo knowledge and scholarship in the compilation of traditional and contemporary mōteatea

Development of te reo publication resources for whānau, hapū and iwi marae wananga including Māori language teachers.

 

 

Investigating the role of iwi management plans in natural hazard management

Iwi management plans provide a link between Mātauranga Māori and land use planning, however, their role within council planning processes is uncertain.

 

 

 Student Profile: Jake Robinson

Jake is undertaking PhD research investigating sediment tracing in the Whanganui River catchment. 

 

 

 

New Zealand Urban Resilience C2C Collaborative & Knowledge Sharing Network

As a nation that faces a wide variety of natural hazards, collaborating and sharing our knowledge, experiences and resources, will be key in enhancing our resilience.

 

 

 

Auckland Emergency Management: Working with Auckland’s Pacific Peoples

As part of the Resilient Auckland Communities project, researchers have been working with Auckland Council on a project focusing on Pacific peoples.

 

 

 

Student Profile: Jake McPhee

Jake has recently finished his master’s thesis, which focused on developing a set of best practice guidelines for developing levels of disaster preparedness in metropolitan settings

 

 

 

Identifying Vulnerabilities and Enhancing the Resilience of Auckland’s hospitality Businesses

Small businesses in the hospitality industry play a vital role in New Zealand’s economy. Researchers have been investigating how to enhance their resilience.

 

 

 

Chaos on campus: Are students and staff at The University of Auckland ready for a natural hazard?

Our researchers have found that they might be less prepared than you’d expect.

 

 

 

Student Profile: Heiman Dianat

Heiman, one of our PhD students at The University of Auckland​, is assessing Auckland’s disaster resilience based on the United Nations​ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

 

 

 

Resilience in civil infrastructure firms: What it means and how it can be achieved

Civil infrastructure firms fix our roads, power lines and sewers after natural hazard events like earthquakes. Their services are vital to our recovery after an event, but how resilient are the businesses themselves?

 

 

 

Student Profile: Sam Wilson

Sam is using his engineering expertise to investigate how decisions around physical reconstruction after a natural hazard event affect the overall recovery process of horizontal infrastructure in New Zealand.

 

 

 

Church, Community and Beyond: Effective Disaster Risk Communication with and for Pacific People in Auckland

Disaster messaging is only effective if embraced by the population it is intended for. 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Rob Cardwell

Rob is using modelling tools to figure how Auckland’s population can grow in a resilient and risk-mitigating way.

 

 

 

 

The role of Buddhist pagodas in Auckland’s natural disaster preparedness, response and recovery

These places of worship might have a role to play before, during and after a natural disaster for South East Asian communities. 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Nichapat Sanunsilp

Nicha, a master’s student in our Urban programme, is exploring the diverse ways people with different backgrounds prepare and cope with disasters.

 

 

 

Understanding how the people of Petone and Eastbourne responded to the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake and subsequent tsunami warning

Citizen scientists surveyed Lower Hutt residents to find out what they did after the 2016 Kaikōura quake.

 

 

 

Cultural resilience in the capital

Can our capital cope with a natural disaster? Our researchers have been surveying Wellingtonians to find out how resilient the city’s residents are.

 

 

 

 

 

Learning from public response to natural hazard videos

Creating a video to communicate a complex scientific issue isn’t easy. Our team evaluates the recent Project AF8 video series to gain insight into what works and what doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Lisa McLaren

Lisa’s PhD research aims to analyse how citizen science can be used as a tool by coastal communities to increase their resilience to High Impact Weather.

 

 

 

 

Drop, cover and… Tweet?

Social media not only keeps us up to date with the latest memes, it might also be helping communities to be more resilient to natural hazards.

 

 

 

 

Fostering children’s participation in DRR with Minecraft and LEGO

 Children own valuable knowledge about hazards such as floods or earthquakes in their local area, but they are vulnerable so we instinctively want to protect them and not involve them in DRR.

 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Marion Tan

Marion’s thesis explores the usability of disaster apps. She’s advocating for the responsible design of apps that are meant to be used during high-stress disaster situations.

 

 

 

 

Living at the Edge

The Edge project is a unique example in New Zealand of researchers becoming embedded in an existing local government decision-making process.

 

 

 

 

Co-creating resilience solutions to coastal hazards

One of the major challenges in coastal resilience planning is trying to ensure that adaptation pathways are both effective and well-suited to the coastal communities that they will impact. 

 

 

 

 

Managed retreat; unpacking the ‘black box’

Low-lying coastal communities around New Zealand will need to start embracing managed retreat as climate change and sea-level rise continue to encroach on and erode our coasts.

 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Lauren Vinnell

Growing up in Lower Hutt, PhD student Lauren Vinnell was well aware of Wellingon’s vulnerability to natural hazards. But she was also aware of how many people in the area were unprepared for a hazard event like an earthquake or tsunami.

 

 

 

 

 Student Profile: Ashton Eaves 

Ashton is working to figure out how society can reduce the risk of coastal hazards and adapt to a changing climate.

 

 

 

 

Hawke’s Bay coastal survey

Edge team researchers surveyed Hawke’s Bay residents to find out what they value most about the coast, and how they think coastal hazards should be managed. 

 

 

 

 

Laura at the beach

Student Profile: Laura Robichaux

Edge programme PhD student Laura Robichaux grew up in South Louisiana in the United States, surrounded by the benefits and risks inherent to coastal living.

 

 

 

 

Rangitikei River stopbank breach, April 2017

Understanding flood protection stopbanks across New Zealand  

A new collaborative research programme aims to better understand and compare the characteristics of stopbank networks across New Zealand.

 

 

 

Maraekakaho School students show off their hazard maps

Minecraft & LEGO used for emergency preparedness  

Students in Hawke’s Bay have been using two popular children’s pastimes to help their community become more prepared for an emergency.

 

 

 

Project AF8 and RNC-Rural: New knowledge on Alpine Fault consequences  

New Zealand’s Alpine Fault is expected to produce a magnitude 8 earthquake in future, which will widely impact the South Island and lower North Island.

 

 

 

Failure of powerpole in the Kaikōura earthquake and subsequent damage to a telecommunications cabinet

How do different infrastructure networks influence one another following a natural hazard event?

We rely on infrastructure networks every day. They provide us with essential services like electricity and water as well as transportation and waste collection, and these networks are reliant on each other too.

 

 

 

Kaikōura shoreline after the 2017 quake.

Re-imagining rural resilience

From high-impact weather events, to seismic and volcanic risks, coastal erosion and other processes – there is a lot that can and does affect one of our primary economic drivers, and the people and communities who call it home.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire experiences might help answer some burning questions

We live in a risky environment. New Zealand experiences wildfires, floods, landslides and earthquakes far too frequently. But are we aware of the risks, and how prepared are we to reduce their impact and cope with a disaster?

 

 

 

Rethinking rural disaster risk reduction

Rural New Zealand has specific needs and challenges in the face of natural hazards, which are often not adequately addressed in current responses and management plans. Tyler Barton, a PhD student at the University of Canterbury, aims to address this issue.

 

 

 

How can we keep the lights on during and after a natural disaster?

We assume that electricity will be available when we want to use it, but what if an earthquake, storm or volcanic eruption hits and a blackout follows?

 

 

 

Can we evacuate Auckland before a volcano erupts?

It is only a matter of time before another volcano erupts in Auckland’s Volcanic Field.

 

 

 

Student Profile: Xavier Bellagamba

Xavier is a keen rock-climber, tramper, skier and one of the PhD students in our Infrastructure team.

 

 

 

 

A systematic review of rural resilience in New Zealand

The Rural programme aimed to find out what we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to know about rural resilience in NZ in order to ensure that the work we do fills critical gaps in our understanding.

 

 

 

 

Coastal management workshops at Napier Girls’ High School

A group of year 13 classes from Napier Girls’ High School had a classroom session on coastal hazards, coastal hazard management and how to measure coastal processes.

 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Alistair Davies

Alistair’s research focuses on increasing the resilience of potentially-isolated communities like Kaikōura and Franz Josef. 

 

 

 

 

Student Profile: Kristie-Lee Thomas

Kristie-Lee grew up in the Chatham Islands, and her research project focuses on fostering community-led action to reduce tsunami impact there.

 

 

 

 

Port Hills fires

If you had asked the population of Christchurch which major disaster they feared most on 12 February 2017 the majority would have answered earthquakes or flooding. Wildfire would have been the last thing on the city’s collective mind.