Media releases and news items




NZ Herald: What will the next decade of quakes look like?

15 January 2020

Our Earthwork-Tsunami research team aims to generate millions of ‘synthetic’ earthquakes using computer models, to enable new research to better understand and forecast ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides and tsunami.




NZ Herald: What would happen if the ‘storm of the century’ hit Auckand?

12 January 2020

Our Weather theme explores the impacts that major weather events might have on the country, including an ex-tropical cyclone hitting Auckland, an Otago wildfire, and a major snowstorm in the South Island. 




NZ Herald: ‘Flood sandwich’ – Preparing coastal NZ for a wilder future

7 January 2020

Our researchers are taking a sharper look at how New Zealand’s coastlines are changing, in order to help prepare the country for a wilder future.




Resilience Challenge: Phase 2 invests in innovative natural hazards research

9 December 2019

The Resilience to Nature’s Challenges Phase 2 research programme involves nearly $40 million of investment into innovative natural hazards research.




Stuff: Kaikōura three years on from 7.8M earthquake

14 November 2019

Months before a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Kaikōura and surrounding districts, our Rural research team had already identified Kaikōura as a useful case study site. Little did they know they’d soon be working in a post-disaster setting.




RNZ: Climate change: Wellington council’s coastal erosion buffer plans lauded

11 April 2019

Judy Lawrence comments on Greater Wellington Regional Council’s decision to relocate buildings as part of a retreat from the Kāpiti Coast.




Stuff: Beach-loving New Zealanders living near rising seas could face relocation plans within a decade

11 April 2019

New Zealanders love living on coasts, but plans to move them away from rising seas could start within 10 years. 




Waatea News: Māori input sought for climate risk action

10 April 2019

Māori Resilience Challenge scientists included on an expert panel charged with working out how New Zealand’s vulnerability to climate change will be assessed.




Stuff: Social media could be key to warning people when the next earthquake hits

4 April 2019

Julia Becker talks about New Zealand’s consideration of an earthquake early warning system, and the potential for social media t provide a simpler, more affordable solution.




Otago Daily Times: $25m-plus option for Franz Josef issues

3 April 2019

Tim Davies provides comment on gravel build-up in the Waiho River. 




Insurance Business Mag: Survey on early earthquake warning for NZ

3 April 2019

Disaster insurance agency, the Earthquake Commission (EQC) is urging New Zealanders to take part in a survey on an early earthquake warning system.




NewstalkZB: Earthquake early warning system, worth it?

2 April 2019

Chris Lynch speaks with Julia Becker about her new study looking into whether New Zealanders would want an earthquake early warning system that would give them a few seconds warning before the shaking starts in their location.




Stuff: Scientists consider earthquake warning system to help Kiwis prepare for tremor

1 April 2019

Researchers from around the country are conducting a survey to identify whether a warning system should be implemented in New Zealand.




Media release: Towards a stronger Kaikōura: a community event

1 April 2019

Research on the impacts of the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake will be discussed in a public event held in the town on Wednesday 10 April.




Stuff: A few days respite before more rough weather in south; some rain in north

28 March 2019

Prof Tim Davies comments on the loss of the Waiho River bridge, and its impact on the Franz Josef community. 




Science Media Centre: West Coast flooding – Expert Reaction

27 March 2019

Dr Caroline Orchiston and Prof Tim Davies provide comment on the West Coast state of emergency and loss of the Waiho bridge. 




RNZ: Resilience in tourism. Lessons learned from Kaikoura

14 March 2019

Joanna Fountain tells Kathryn Ryan that a need to improve food networks in the days and weeks following the quake has had a positive effect on Kaikoura’s food story.




OneRoof: Will climate change force you to move?

27 February 2019

Dr Rob Bell talks about his work identifying hot spots for coastal risk in New Zealand, and what they mean for councils and insurance. 




OneRoof: Disasters happen. Make a list

19 February 2019

Lauren Vinnell talks about findings from her PhD thesis project and how well insured New Zealanders are for a natural hazard event. 




NZ Herald: Desperate times loom for NZ

15 February 2019

In less than 30 years New Zealand could be staring down the same “extremely desperate” disaster scenario now threatening the existence of many islands in the Pacific.




The News: Bridge on ‘shaky ground’

15 February 2019

Project Alpine Fault Magnitude 8 (AF8) science lead Dr Caroline Orchiston said the bridge was an important transport asset because it enabled the flow of residents from Hawea to Wanaka and also the flow of transients or tourists from the West Coast and Lindis Pass to and from Wanaka and Queenstown.




Newshub: NZ’s response to climate change disasters needs a rethink – expert

13 February 2019

Dr Judy Lawrence talks about our need for a long-term approach to disaster response. 




RNZ: The Cascade Effect: re-thinking climate resilience

13 February 2019

We’re increasingly being confronted with climate change impacts such as drought, fire, and coastal flooding, but our responses to these changes are not keeping pace with the threat they pose, a researcher says.




Newshub: ‘Significant proportion’ of New Zealanders under threat of sea level rise

13 February 2019

As the threat continues to increase, a new paper explores how coastal communities can act now to protect themselves from sea level rising and erosion.




Scoop: Long-term, sustainable solutions to sea level rise

13 February 2019

New study helps shift decision-making around seal-level rise towards more long-term, sustainable solutions




Stuff: Long-term thinking needed on climate change – report

13 February 2019

New research shows more weight should be given to tougher, longer-term decisions taking into account the future effects of climate change.




Media release:  New study helps shift seal-level rise decision-making towards long-term solutions

13 February 2019

New Zealand research could transform the way communities make decisions about sea-level rise.




Scoop: Disaster preparedness event in Lower Hutt

30 January 2019

Senior Social Scientist Dr Julia Becker will speak about the natural disasters that the Hutt Valley is vulnerable to, what to expect if one happens and how to respond.




Media release:  Disaster preparedness event in the Hutt Valley

30 January 2019

The New Zealand Red Cross and Resilience to Nature’s Challenges are holding to a joint disaster preparedness event in Lower Hutt next month where residents can learn about the risks in their area.




North&South: Safe as houses? The biggest risk to your greatest asset

15 January 2019

Dr Rob Bell contributes to the conversation about managed retreat in Matatā.




North&South: The worst natural disaster risks facing New Zealand

15 January 2019

What’s the risk of a major earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami or wildfire in New Zealand – and how might it play out?




Stuff: Emergency services prepare for busy fire season as heavy vegetation growth boosts risk

7 January 2019

Any Canterbury fire this summer has “the potential to get big” with the fastest plant growth in the region for 30 years heightening risks, emergency services warn.




Media release:  Resilience Challenge Appoints Science Leads For Its Second Phase Of Research

20 December 2018

Congratulations to the researchers selected to lead science programmes in the second phase of Resilience to Nature’s Challenges research.




SCIMEX:  Disaster communication in Auckland’s Pacific Island people

12 December 2018

Disaster messages can be less effective among Pacific Island communities, particularly if they’re living in poverty or poor housing, University of Auckland researchers have found. 




Media release:  Research guides disaster communication with Auckland’s Pacific Island peoples

12 December 2018

Disaster messaging is only effective if the population it is intended for embraces it. It can be particularly hard to engage societies with rich cultural and linguistic diversity, such as Pacific Island peoples.



Prevention Web: The New Zealand Resilience Index

11 December 2018

The New Zealand Resilience Index will help decision-makers stay on track as we find ways to build disaster resilience in our communities, environments, and economies.



Prevention Web: Science and strategy for better results

10 December 2018

Government strategy developed in a vacuum is bound to fail. 



NewstalkZB:  A look at whether post-disaster response adds unnecessary stress

29 November 2018

Otago University PhD student David Wither is researching whether government causes unnecessary or additional stress.



NZ Herald: Study explores stress in Hurunui which has been rocked by quakes, drought

28 November 2018

A Canterbury district rocked by a decade of earthquakes, drought, storms and economic slumps is now the focus of a study on stress.



Media release:  Stress affecting the Hurunui district after a challenging decade of hazard events

28 November 2018

Research is currently underway in North Canterbury’s Hurunui district to understand how natural hazard events affect communities and people in this district.



Media release:  Resilience to Nature’s Challenges welcomes a new Governance Group Chair and a Deputy Director 

26 November 2018

Jenn Bestwick joins us as Chairperson of the Resilience Challenge Governance Group, and Richard Smith fills a newly established Deputy Director role.



Build Back Better:  New Zealand – Operationalising resilience – A heuristic framework

20 November 2018

The Resilience to Nature’s Challenges Operationalising Resilience project is examining what kinds of resilience are being delivered in Aotearoa New Zealand.



Prevention Web:  New Zealand – Operationalising resilience: A heuristic framework

20 November 2018

The Operationalising Resilience project uses a heuristic framework to address the critical issues of resilience delivery in New Zealand and gauge the effect of governance processes on outcomes.



Media release:  Resilience to Nature’s Challenges to receive $40M for a further five years of research

17 November 2018

Crucial research to help New Zealanders bounce back from natural disasters will continue, as Resilience to Nature’s Challenges celebrates a grant of $40M for a further five years of operation.



Prevention Web: Working together for a more resilient transport network

15 November 2018

How can we make decisions affecting the long-term resilience of our transport network when key players are siloed into regions, modes, and organisations and the future is uncertain?



Prevention Web: Resilience governance in practice

15 November 2018

A series of severe coastal storms along the Coromandel Peninsula has brought coastal hazard risk to the fore, especially in the face of rising sea levels.



The Wellington App: Prepared for an earthquake? Yeah, nah.

2 November 2018

A survey of Wellington residents revealed that only 15% of respondents had completed more than half of 18 recommended earthquake preparedness actions.



Victoria University of Wellington: Study finds lack of basic preparations for a major earthquake by Wellington residents

30 October 2018

A survey of Wellington residents has revealed the majority of respondents have not carried out basic earthquake preparations.



Insurance Business Mag: Wellington not well-prepared for ‘the big one’ – study

27 October 2018

Wellingtonians are not doing the most preparations for a major earthquake, which includes taking out disaster insurance, a new study reveals.



Stuff: Most of Wellington – and the rest of New Zealand – hasn’t done basic earthquake preparation

25 October 2018

Less than half of Wellingtonians have done basic preparations for a major earthquake, and the rest of the country isn’t much better.



Prevention Web: Less than half of Wellingtonians prepared for an earthquake

25 October 2018

Research into how many earthquake preparedness actions Wellington residents have taken. 



Media release: Study finds less than half of Wellingtonians have done basic preparations for a major earthquake

25 October 2018

A recent survey of Wellington residents has revealed that of 18 earthquake preparedness actions, nearly 85% hadn’t done half of them.



Stuff: April 2018 storm highlights vulnerabilities of Auckland businesses

20 October 2018

Wanaka is one significant step closer to a South Island coordinated response to the next severe earthquake on the Alpine Fault after the Project AF8’s “SAFER Framework” launch on Monday.



Wanaka Sun: New project launches coordinated AF8 response

18 October 2018

Wanaka is one significant step closer to a South Island coordinated response to the next severe earthquake on the Alpine Fault after the Project AF8’s “SAFER Framework” launch on Monday.



NZ Herald: Few Auckland businesses ready for disaster

16 October 2018

Few businesses in New Zealand’s biggest city are fully prepared to deal with the impact of natural disasters, new research suggests.



Media release: April 2018 super storm highlights deficiencies in the resilience of Auckland businesses

16 October 2018

Researchers have found that over three-quarters of Auckland businesses were unable to function when water, communication or electricity was lost in this year’s storm in April.



Crux: South Island major earthquake strategy published

15 October 2018

Project AF8 launches the SAFER Framework. 



The Spinoff: Why I study Māori and indigenous disaster response

12 October 2018

Lucy Carter writes about what being a Māori disaster researcher means to her, and the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes.



Radio NZ interview : Exploring resilience amongst the land and people

7 October 2018

Dr Wendy Saunders talks about her recent work in the Bay of Plenty. Maori Social Scientist Lucy Carter is taking disaster preparedness into Kura Kaupapa schools, and Dr Taiarahia Black shares his research and publications into colonial history that forms part of his work in the Resilience Challenge.



Radio NZ interview : Dr Dan Hikuroa and Kristie-Lee Thomas on science and Mātauranga Māori

30 September 2018

Dr Hikuroa believes the world of science is interconnected with Mātauranga Māori, and shares his recent work alongside iwi and hapu. In 1868 a tsunami hit the Chatham Islands, which inspired local Kristie-Lee Thomas to pursue a career in science. She based research on the disaster and shares some of her findings. Delayed insurance payments ‘as bad as being uninsured’

24 September 2018

Insured businesses who receive delayed payouts from their insurer after a natural disaster fare no better in their economic recovery than uninsured businesses, research has found.



Insurance Business Mag: How insurance payouts contributed to Canterbury recovery

19 September 2018

Research findings from Victoria University and Economics Toolbox scientist Professor Ilan Noy on the impact of insurance on recovery after the Canterbury quakes. 



Stuff: Research finds cash settlements better for economic recovery following Christchurch earthquakes

18 September 2018

Professor Ilan Noy talks about his research investigating the role of insurance in economic recovery after the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes. 



NZ Herald: Late payment as helpful as no insurance – lessons from Canterbury quakes

17 September 2018

Economics Toolbox scientist Professor Ilan Noy talks about his research, and the surprising finding that getting a delayed payment from an insurer resulted in the same recovery for a business as those with no insurance.



Media release: Type and timing of insurance pay-outs after the Canterbury earthquakes were significant in the recovery of residential areas and businesses

17 September 2018

Research into Earthquake Commission insurance pay-outs after the Canterbury earthquakes shows that their type and timing affected whether residential areas and businesses were able to recover.



NewsHub: Where in NZ the Alpine Fault quake would affect most

11 September 2018

The worst-affected areas if the Alpine Fault were to rupture have been revealed.



NZ Herald: Big Alpine Fault quake would cut off 10,000 residents

11 September 2018

A big quake on the Alpine Fault could block South Island highways in more than 120 places and leave 10,000 people cut off, new research has estimated.



Stuff: Scientists mark 300 years since last great Alpine Fault quake – preparing for the ‘inevitable’

11 September 2018

Scientists say the last major Alpine Fault earthquake, in 1717, brought long-term disruption across the South Island and “there will be a similar earthquake soon”.



TVNZ: ‘Megaquake’ tipped on Alpine Fault in lifetime of many New Zealanders alive today

30 August 2018

Caroline Orchiston outlines Project AF8’s work at a public meeting in Blenheim.



Radio NZ: Financial incentives no silver bullet for sustainable agriculture – study

27 August 2018

Nick Cradock-Henry talks about his recent study, which shows that financial incentives to encourage more sustainable practices on farms are not enough.



Radio NZ interview: Māori oral histories used for Chathams’ tsunami preparedness

20 August 2018

Rural programme master’s graduate Kristie-Lee Thomas speaks about her research using Māori oral histories for tsunami preparedness on the Chatham Islands.



Media release: Tsunami preparedness in the Chatham Islands 150 years after the devastating South American event

15 August 2018

Māori oral histories reveal previously undocumented insights into the devastating tsunami on the Chatham Islands, 150 years after the event.



Radio NZ: In case of emergency: Children map community using Lego and Minecraft

5 August 2018

Researcher Nickola Loodin shares insight into her work on including children in disaster planning.



Prevention Web: Identifying vulnerabilities and enhancing the resilience of Auckland’s hospitality businesses

27 July 2018

Small businesses in the hospitality industry play a vital role in New Zealand’s economy.



NZ Herald: Auckland could get just five days’ warning of eruption

27 July 2018

Professor Shane Cronin shares his volcanology expertise in a story about the amount of warning Auckland might get before an eruption.



PreventionWeb: Auckland emergency management: Working with Auckland’s Pacific Peoples

27 July 2018

Auckland is home to the largest Pasifika population in the world. Pacific peoples make up 15% of Auckland’s population, but generally have very little awareness of hazards in the Auckland region.



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

19 July 2018

Investigating how places of worship could help increase resilience of South East Asian communities in Auckland. 



Media release: DIVE Platform – the key to New Zealand’s exciting resilience innovations

10 July 2018

Researchers have launched a new platform that will help researchers make better use of New Zealand’s Disaster Risk Reduction and resilience data.



Prevention Web: Are Wellingtonians prepared for a natural hazard event?

6 July 2018

Wellington has long been regarded as a city vulnerable to natural hazards, but knowledge of the earthquake hazard doesn’t always translate into preparedness and resilience in local residents.



RadioLIVE interview: The Carrington Effect 

24 June 2018

In 1859 we experienced a solar flare hot enough to melt telegraph wires. Infrastructure programme researcher Nirmal Nair talks about what might happen if we had one today.



NZ Herald: Researchers concerned at Hutt Valley suburbs’ post-quake confusion

21 June 2018

A new Wellington study has highlighted the confusion that followed the Kaikōura Earthquake, with only a third of people in tsunami-threatened Petone and Eastbourne evacuating to higher ground within the recommended 10 minutes.



Media release:  Tsunami evacuation after the Kaikōura Earthquake: Understanding community behaviour in Petone and Eastbourne

21 June 2018

Research into tsunami evacuation after the Kaikōura earthquake found that Lower Hutt residents were confused about whether they should evacuate, and evacuated slowly, if at all.



NZ Herald: Researchers prepare for Alpine Fault black-out

18 June 2018

A catastrophic Alpine Fault earthquake could leave the South Island’s West Coast cut off from the main grid for many weeks – and now researchers have begun exploring how the region could survive by itself.



NZ Geographic feature: Ready Or Not

January 2018

We know that we should be prepared for a natural disaster, but what about those who can’t afford an earthquake kit, or aren’t physically able to move to higher ground in case of a tsunami?



NZ Herald: Future New Zealand- On the frontline in the Anthropocene

10 November 2016

Prof Bruce Glavovic featured in the NZ Herald, talking about collaborative efforts to address coastal hazards risk including the multi-partner Hawkes Bay Coastal Hazards Strategy 2120.



Media release:  Resilience Challenge gets the green light

1 July 2015

The Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge was formally launched this week ushering in a collaborative and holistic approach to dealing with natural hazards in New Zealand.