Rural Disaster Risk Decision-making

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Rural Disaster Risk Decision-making

State Active
Duration 2019 – 2024
Budget / Funding $929000
Project Leader(s)
University of Canterbury
University of Otago


Decision-makers tasked with assessing and managing natural hazard risks to rural communities and assets have access to information that is targeted, authoritative, understandable, and usable.

Project description

People making decisions about risk management need to understand the hazards, and the exposure and vulnerability of communities and assets to those hazards. By quantifying the risks and anticipating the potential impacts of hazards, governments, industries, communities, and individuals can make informed decisions on resilience. Such information can be used to set priorities for mitigation and adaptation strategies, sector plans, programmes, projects, and budgets.

This project is being carried out in two workstreams:

  • Taranaki Mounga eruption scenario
    For this significant project, we have partnered with Taranaki Civil Defence and Emergency Management and the Volcano, Multihazard Risk, and Whanake te Kura I Tawhiti Nui programmes of the Resilience Challenge in a multi-year co-creation activity focused on building resilience to future eruptions from Taranaki Mounga. The goal is to develop world-leading risk and resilience science around three aspects of resilience: pre-event mitigation, crisis decision-making, and pre-event recovery planning.
  • Disaster risk and resilience of tourists and transient populations
    The goal of this workstream is to improve our understanding of the exposure of tourists and transient populations (temporary and seasonal workers) to disaster risk, and to strengthen emergency management arrangements as they relate specifically to tourists and transient populations. We are using new technologies to develop real-time understanding of visitor movement patterns, behaviours, and decision-making. We are also working with emergency managers to improve post-disaster response and recovery.

Our goal is to support rural decision-makers with practical and applicable new knowledge, to improve event planning, preparedness and response for rural Aotearoa New Zealand.

Resource Outputs from this project


Approaching the Challenge of Multi-phase, Multi-hazard Volcanic Impact Assessment Through the Lens of Systemic Risk: Application to Taranaki Mounga

A dynamic, longitudinal impact assessment framework for multi-phase, multi-hazard volcanic events, applied to interdependent critical infrastructure networks in Taranaki reveals intervention timing is crucial.

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Empirical Fragility Assessment of Three-Waters and Railway Infrastructure Damaged by the 2015 Illapel Tsunami, Chile

Which types of critical infrastructure are most vulnerable to tsunami?

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Implementing RiskScape 2.0 for Tsunami Impact Assessment: A Case Study of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand

Estimating direct damage and losses to buildings and roads from three damaging tsunami scenarios in the Canterbury region, Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Insights into the vulnerability of vegetation to tephra fallouts from interpretable machine learning and big Earth observation data

Using big Earth observation (EO) data and machine learning to complement post-eruption impact assessment data and better inform eruption vulnerability models.

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Superseding sustainability: Conceptualising sustainability and resilience in response to the new challenges of tourism development.

Espiner S, Higham J, Orchiston C. 2019. Superseding sustainability: conceptualising sustainability and resilience in response to the new challenges of tourism development. In: McCool SF,…

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Advancing practical applications of resilience in Aotearoa New Zealand.

D. Wither, C. Orchiston, N.A. Cradock-Henry, E. Nel. (2021) Advancing practical applications of resilience in Aotearoa New Zealand. Ecology and Society 26(3).

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