Media release

Resilience Challenge welcomes new partners

1 June 2020

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge is thrilled to welcome two new Challenge Parties on board. Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and the University of Waikato have recently joined the Challenge for their Phase 2 research programme.

The mission of the Challenge is to accelerate Aotearoa New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards through innovative, collaborative science.

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research hosts the Resilience in Practice model, co-led by senior social science researcher Dr Nick Cradock-Henry alongside Massey University’s Dr Julia Becker, which aims to develop new knowledge and tools to ensure natural hazard resilience becomes part of daily decision making in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The University of Waikato hosts a key project within Resilience in Practice called ‘De-Risking Resilience‘, led by Prof Iain White, which looks at difficult environmental planning decisions involving uncertainty or complexity and how they can be made politically ‘safer’.

The University of Waikato is also involved in the Challenge’s Coastal theme, through our Coastal Flooding project led by Prof Karin Bryan and NIWA’s Dr Scott Stephens which aims to better understand the flood hazards posed by rivers and estuaries. Using the Waihou-Piako river estuary in the Hauraki Plains as a case study, researchers are investigating how shifts in the shapes of estuaries, and the presence of infrastructure such as seawalls and stopbanks, can affect flood risk.

“It’s wonderful to have both these esteemed institutions on board,” says Challenge Director Dr Richard Smith. “They are contributing really important research that will help build our collective resilience, and reduce the social and economic impacts of future natural hazard-triggered disasters.“

Dr Smith says a key principle of the Challenge research programme is the deep collaboration between partner organisations and researchers.

“We’re now a collaboration of 13 research organisations, which is really exciting. We’re bringing the best research teams together, across institutions and disciplines.”

Additional information:

  • Other Challenge parties are: GNS Science, The University of Auckland, Massey University, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, University of Otago, NIWA, Scion, BRANZ, and WSP (formerly Opus).

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