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November 2019 issue

In this issue we have some exciting news, and we take a closer look at Phase 2 of the Challenge. We feature a profile of our Coastal Theme co-leader Dr Rob Bell who just received a Lifetime Achievement award from NIWA, a new report about managed retreat and the RMA, as well as our latest news and events.


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Credit: Dave Allen





September 2019


It’s been a while between newsletters, as the Resilience Challenge team transitions to Phase 2! 

In this issue director Richard Smith provides an update, we meet new science communications adviser Caitlin Carew, and in the first of a series profiling our new science leaders, we chat to Dr Sally Potter of GNS Science who co-leads our Weather Theme.  We also take a look at the latest Natural Hazards Research Platform annual report, and two of our researchers make the news as part of the global ‘Covering Climate Now’ media spotlight on climate change. 

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April 2019

Natural Hazards Research Forum

In this edition Phase 2 director Richard Smith provides an update on RNC2, and gives a plug for the Natural Hazards Research Forum. Civil engineer and Infrastructure programme PhD student Amelia Lin talks about her work on infrastructure network criticality and Christina Hanna shares sustainability tips and insights from her thesis on managed retreat. Hauiti Hakopa shares work from his recently completed PhD on pūrākau and how Māori connect to their ancestral landscapes. Plus we hear about the ‘Digital Communities Workshop’ run by Abi Beatson, as well as ‘Towards a stronger Kaikōura’, the community event held to share research that has gone on since the 2016 earthquake in Kaikōura. 

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March 2019

New students and researchers

In this edition we hear from some of the newest members of the Resilience Challenge team.

We hear from Safa Al-sachit, an electrical engineer in our Infrastructure programme, as well as Gradon Diprose, Laura Tilley, Mat Darling, Gail Adams-Hutcheson and Sam Olufson. 

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February 2019

Canterbury quakes anniversary

Eight years have passed since the devastating magnitude 6.2 Christchurch earthquake, but we continue to recover and learn from the event to this day.

In this edition of the Resilience Challenge newsletter we’re looking at some of the research that is being conducted based on and related to the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence. 

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January 2019

Celebrations of our success over the past year

2018 was a watershed year for the Resilience Challenge.

In this edition of the newsletter we look back on the year that was and acknowledge the hard work that has gone into challenge research nationwide. Challenge Director Shane Cronin shares his insights, particularly around research with national and international applications and the value of end-user focused co-creation of knowledge. 

We also hear from Richard Smith, who will direct phase two of the Challenge, kicking off midway through this year. Richard shares his history and tells us why he’s so excited to be joining the Challenge for its next phase. 

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December 2018

Programme spotlight: Trajectories

Feature: What gets measured gets done – The New Zealand Resilience Index

In this Trajectories Toolbox spotlight we find out about work to develop the New Zealand Resilience Index (NZRI). We also hear about the Trajectories team’s contribution to the National Disaster Resilience Strategy, their work to extend the NZRI for specific regions, and work on the resilience ‘Warrant of Fitness’. We also learn about projects up and coming researchers Ellie Kay and Chris Bowie are working on, and an effort to increase uptake of the DIVE Platform. In addition, we get to know Becca Fraser, a master’s student working on describing and visualising aspects of disaster resilience in rural New Zealand. 

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November 2018

Programme spotlight: Governance

Feature: Corridor Forums – Working together for a more resilient transport network

In this issue we find out about work to develop multi-modal, multi-regional ‘Corridor Forums’. We also hear about development of a heuristic framework for governance resilience, an investigation into whether the Resource Management Act can facilitate community-led managed retreat, and the Governance programme’s collaborative work with the Edge research programme. In addition, we get to know Christina Hanna, a PhD student working on natural hazard risk reduction via managed retreat; the strategic relocation of people, assets and activities away from harm.

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October 2018

Programme spotlight: Hazard

Feature: Franz Josef- Developing resilience in a community at risk

In this issue we find out about research into the wide range of natural hazard events the township of Franz Josef is vulnerable to. In addition, we learn about work to extend the Project AF8 hazard impact scenario to 10 years post-quake with Project AF8+, as well as Alex Dunant’s multi-hazard impact scenario model. We also get to know Kat Hore and Gabriele Frigerio Porta, two of the programme’s PhD students. Kat is investigating the different initiatives being undertaken by and with Franz Josef residents to reduce hazard risk, while Gabriele is using statistical modelling to understand how the interaction of events occurring in the same space and within a suitable time window can affect the occurrence of secondary (triggered) events.

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September 2018

Programme spotlight: Economics

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

In this issue we find out about work exploring the effect of insurance payouts on economic recovery after the Christchurch quakes. In addition, we learn about the importance of personal relationships in risk mitigation, how to build economic resilience to the flow-on impacts of natural hazard events, and we learn about the Wellington Lifelines Regional Resilience Project. We also get to know Cuong Nguyen, a PhD student in the research team who is investigating the relationship between earthquake insurance and the property market. 

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August 2018

Programme spotlight: Mātauranga Māori

Feature: Reclaiming Māori oral histories to understand tsunami hazard and history

In this issue we find out about work exploring Māori ancestral experience with tsunami(s) on Rangitoto (D’Urville Island). In addition to this, the newsletter includes a story on the development of te reo resources for whānau, hapū, iwi, marae – Wānanga and Māori language teachers across Aotearoa, explores the use of iwi management plans in natural hazard management and discusses the development of tsunami risk reduction activities for Kura Kaupapa Māori in Hawke’s Bay. We also get to know Jake Robinson, a PhD student in the research team who is investigating sediment tracing in the Whanganui River catchment. 

All stories are provided in both te reo Māori and English.

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July 2018

Programme spotlight: Urban

Feature: City to City Collaborative and Knowledge Sharing Network

In this issue we learn about the Urban programme’s work creating a City to City Collaborative and Knowledge Sharing Network for New Zealand. In addition to this, the newsletter includes findings from a study into the role of Buddhist pagodas in the response and recovery of Auckland’s South East Asian communities, insights into the resilience of our civil infrastructure firms and hospitality businesses, as well as that of staff and students at The University of Auckland. We also hear about two Auckland resilience initiatives focused on the city’s Pasifka communities. The issue also features five Urban programme students: Nichapat Sanunsilp, Sam Wilson, Rob Cardwell, Heiman Dianat and Jake McPhee.

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June 2018

Programme spotlight: Culture

Feature: Wellington Resilience

This issue’s feature story delves into the Culture programme’s work in our hazard-vulnerable capital city. We learn how the public responded to the recently release Project AF8 videos, and the role of social media in community natural hazard resilience. The use of Minecraft and LEGO to get kids involved in Disaster Risk Reduction is explored, as well as how Petone and Eastbourne residents reacted to the potential tsunami threat after the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. We also hear from Culture programme PhD students Marion Tan, Lauren Vinnell and Lisa McLaren.

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May 2018

Programme spotlight: Edge

Feature: Living at the Edge

The Edge programme’s feature story outlines the work that resulted in their winning the inaugural Terry Healy Coastal Project Award from the New Zealand Coastal Society. The newsletter also includes findings from a survey the team carried out that investigated how Hawke’s Bay residents think coastal hazards in the region should be managed, as well as insights into the work the team is doing around co-creation and managed retreat. We also hear from Edge programme PhD students Laura Robichaux and Ashton Eaves.

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April 2018

Programme spotlight: Infrastructure

Feature: Electricity

In this issue’s feature story we learn about the challenges faced when trying to keep the electricity on during and after a natural hazard event. The infrastructure programme also outlines work into Auckland’s ability to evacuate if a volcano erupts, understanding network interdependencies in a natural hazard event and the state of our country’s stopbanks. We also hear from PhD student Xavier Bellagamba about his work exploring the resilience of our urban water supply systems to earthquakes. 

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March 2018

Programme spotlight: Rural

Feature: Project AF8

The Rural team talk about their work with Project AF8 in this issue’s feature story, and how an Alpine Fault earthquake might impact New Zealand. The issue also profiles Tyler Barton’s work around New Zealand’s disaster risk responses, provides an insight into the programme’s systematic review of rural resilience and a story about the research being done a year after the Port Hills Fires. We also hear from Rural programme PhD student Alistair Davies and Master’s student Kristie-Lee Thomas about their theses. 

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