Media release

Resilience Challenge to receive $40M

16 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.

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges was launched in 2015 with a mandate to enhance New Zealand’s ability to anticipate, adapt and thrive in the face of ever-changing natural hazards. It is one of eleven National Science Challenges funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Over the past four years the Resilience Challenge has seen over 100 scientists work on 40 projects covering a breadth of research across multiple disciplines. This work has included contributing to the South Island-wide Alpine Fault “AF8” scenario, integrated resilience planning for 100 years of coastal change in the Hawke’s Bay and development of a collaborative resilience knowledge sharing network across New Zealand’s largest cities.

The research scope has included geologic, extreme weather and gradual shifting of the hazard “baseline” through sea level rise and global warming. It has also driven development of new economic, social science and engineering solutions for our hazard issues, tailoring them to the diverse Urban, Rural, Māori and Built environment settings of New Zealand.

“The Resilience Challenge has now reached the point of making a real difference in the way we adapt our practices and responses to hazards in New Zealand. Our research is tailored to specific settings in New Zealand, ranging from our iconic rural communities to our over-burdened urban infrastructure. We have seen Government agencies, infrastructure providers and businesses getting behind strategies of longer term investment into a broader range of hazard mitigation strategies that build lasting resilience. Not only has our science been published in the highest level scientific journals, but it is also being put to work in real-world community resilience,”  says Resilience Challenge Director Professor Shane Cronin.

This second phase of funding will enable the Resilience Challenge to merge with the Natural Hazards Research Platform, another MBIE funded organization which has been increasing New Zealand’s resilience to Natural Hazards via high quality collaborative research over the past ten years. “This union will enable us to harness the combined New Zealand research strengths of the Natural Hazard Research Platform and the phase 1 Resilience Challenge, significantly increasing our ability to produce cutting edge, fit for purpose science solutions to our natural hazard threats,” says Professor Cronin.

Planning is underway for the Resilience Challenge’s next five years of research, and research teams will be established in the coming months.

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