Media release

New insights to be shared at significant natural hazards research symposium

9 May 2024

Experts will be presenting new research findings, tools and recommendations at Te Tai Whanake, the final symposium of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge, to help our diverse communities better plan for and respond to natural hazard events.

The sold-out event is being held on May 13-14 at Te Papa, Wellington, and marks the end of ten years of collaborative natural hazards research.

The symposium will explore topics including lessons from Cyclone Gabrielle and what catastrophic risk might look like for Aotearoa New Zealand. Collectively, these insights will deepen our understanding of the likely impacts from large earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, extreme weather and coastal change.

“The programme is packed with speakers from across the Resilience Challenge, as well as from iwi, emergency management, government, councils and community,” says Dr Richard Smith, Director of the Resilience Challenge.

“This is a chance to showcase the research solutions that can help us build our national resilience to our significant natural hazard risks.”

The symposium will mix plenary discussions on key themes in the natural hazards sector, as well as breakout sessions to present specific research to interested stakeholders.

The first plenary session will focus on lessons from Cyclone Gabrielle, featuring a keynote from Ngarangi Walker of Ngāti Porou, followed by researchers and officials who were involved in the response phase.

The second plenary of the day will explore what catastrophic risk looks like for Aotearoa New Zealand, and what planning is underway for this kind of large-scale event.

The first plenary of day two showcases the latest research on how we can adapt to a changing climate and rising sea levels, while the final discussion of day two looks to the future of natural hazards research in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The Resilience Challenge has amassed a significant body of new knowledge over ten years of collaborative natural hazards research, and this is a chance to share that knowledge with our partners and stakeholders, and celebrate our achievements,” says Dr Smith.

“We also want to bring people together to talk about how we can keep working collaboratively to build on this legacy.”

“We’re very aware that the future is uncertain for natural hazards research right now, and it’s important we keep these connections alive.”

The Resilience Challenge is grateful for the generous support of EQC Toka Tū Ake which makes this event possible.

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