Te Tai Whanake is a whakatauki which refers to a wave, and depicts a community who rises and moves forward together. As the Resilience Challenge draws to a close after ten-years of research, this symposium provides an opportunity to look back at the journey, the breadth of knowledge we’ve developed and collated, and how we can continue to build on this legacy.

Nau mai haere mai ki te Resilience to Nature's Challenges end-of-challenge symposium:


Growing a stronger, more resilient Aotearoa

Monday 13 - Tuesday 14 May

Te Papa, Wellington

Te Tai Whanake - Growing a stronger, more resilient Aotearoa is a chance to present our latest disaster risk, resilience and recovery science, celebrate our team's decade of mahi, and ensure their outputs and findings get into the hands of those who need them.

Join us as we hear from researchers, iwi leaders, key stakeholders across industry, central and local government, and communities impacted by natural hazards. Together we’ll review what has been learnt from previous events incuding 2023’s extreme weather. We’ll hear about the latest science on infrastructure resilience, recovery, multihazard risk, hazard communication, adaptation and planning, and kaupapa Māori perspectives and solutions.

Our programme will mix interactive panel discussions, keynote speakers and themed parallel sessions. Day 1 will focus on how far we've come and where we've got to, culminating in a networking poster session and celebration dinner. Day 2 will look to the future, reviewing key opportunities to ensure our communities are better prepared and more resilient to future hazardous events.

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The conference will be a two-day event made up of plenary panel presentations and discussions, break-out technical sessions, and networking and social events. An outline is below with a more detailed programme coming soon.

Day 1

9amRegistration; tea & coffee
9.45amMihi Whakatau
10amWelcome from Challenge leadership
10.30amMorning Tea
11amPLENARY - Learning from past events to lift community resilience
What have we learned from events like the Kaikōura earthquake and Cyclone Gabrielle? How did science contribute at the community, local and national levels, and how can the links between science, research, and innovation be enhanced for future events?
1.30pmPLENARY - The evolving approach to catastrophic risk for Aotearoa New Zealand
What does the latest science tell us about what we can realistically expect from future events? What is the new approach to national planning for catastrophes, and how can we avoid the worst consequences, and make conscious choices about the risk we prepare for and manage?
3pmAfternoon tea
3:30pmConcurrent break-out sessions:

Hazard & risk communication
What does the latest research tell us about the most effective ways to communicate risk that build trust and support communities to take positive action?

Decision-making for integrated hazard risk management
Currently, decision-makers have to mediate considerable institutional, professional, and political risks that arise from mitigating natural hazards, such as how sure are we? How much will it cost? Who pays? What should we prioritise?
What arrangements or capability would improve a whole of nation approach to assessing and managing our significant natural hazard risks (and other threats)?

Technology and Innovation
How is technology contributing to resilience building and emergency management, and where are opportunities for innovation for New Zealand?

5pmNetworking Event & Posters
7.30pm til lateCelebration Dinner

Day 2

8.30amRegistration; tea & coffee
9amPLENARY – Adaptation for natural hazard resilience
Adaptation to natural hazards is essential for our communities and infrastructure facing the recurring effects of disruptive natural hazards now and into the immediate future. What does adaptation look like in different contexts and how can the latest research findings and tools support communities and government through the complexity of adaptation decisions?
10.30amMorning Tea
11amConcurrent break-out sessions:

Kaupapa Māori approaches to disaster research & resilience
Hapori Māori (Māori communities) are often disproportionately affected by natural hazards such as coastal erosion, flooding, wildfires and volcanic eruptions. Māori also hold an important role as kaitiaki of their local environments, and their knowledges of past natural hazard events and impacts can inform strategies to build resilience. Join this session to hear of the new body of mātauranga informing frameworks, tools, and strategies for improved resilience for tangata whenua and wider Aotearoa New Zealand.

Infrastructure resilience
The resilience of infrastructure underpins societal wellbeing and economic prosperity. Infrastructure resilience not only minimises the disruption of critical services but also ensures the rapid recovery of communities post a natural hazard event. What new design and engineering innovations are contributing to the essential goal of reducing the vulnerability of our buildings and infrastructure networks to natural hazard risk?

1.15pmConcurrent break-out sessions:

Community resilience
Every community in Aotearoa New Zealand faces some form of natural hazard risk, and many face multiple and compounding threats. What are the successful strategies to prepare our diverse communities for sudden events such as earthquakes and tsunami, as well as slow-building threats brought on by a changing climate.

Multihazard risk assessment
What are the new advances in understanding and modelling individual, cascading and coincident hazards, and how are they being applied to improve hazard risk management?

2.45pmPLENARY – Future aspirations for resilience science
What is the role of science advice in building societal resilience, planning and emergency response and recovery, through to how collaboration, cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary approaches might endure and how might we mobilise science around complex national issues in the post-NSC environment?
3.45pmClosing remarks


te papa museum of new zealand

Oceania, Level 3, Te Papa

A whakatau will be held to welcome all attendees before we begin Te Tai Whanake - Growing a stronger, more resilient Aotearoa.

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Posters & Networking

Oceania, Level 3, Te Papa

Join us for a pre-evening drink and conversation to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our researchers and communities as they share highlights from the past 5 years.

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Celebration Dinner

Wellington Foyer, Te Papa

An evening of curated local fare, entertainment, and a celebration of the ten years of excellence - this will be an evening of celebration not to be missed. Tickets are essential.


  • Two-day registrations $200 + GST
  • One-day registrations $150 + GST
  • Registration includes access to all plenary sessions across the day(s) you register for. During your registration process, you will be asked to indicate which of the concurrent break-out sessions you wish to attend so that we may determine required room capacity.
  • Registration fees are inclusive of tickets to both the poster and networking function and the celebration dinner on Monday 13th.
  • Poster and networking function and Celebration Dinner tickets can be added to any registration, so if you are booking a one-day ticket and you could join us for these functions you can add these functions to your registration at no additional cost.
  • You may book additional tickets for the Celebration Dinner. These are $50 + GST per ticket and can be added at the time of booking.

Registrations to attend Te Tai Whanake have reached capacity and are now closed. Please follow the link below to join the waiting list.

Funding Support

We had a limited number of travel scholarships available for whānau and students to apply to. These scholarships are valued at $500 to support travel and accommodation costs.

Applicants must not be employed by a university, institution or research centre or, if studying should be enrolled in an MA or PhD programme. All successful applicants will receive a complimentary full registration.

Applications for funding support have now closed.

Who is the symposium for?

Te Tai Whanake is for anyone with a role to play in the future of natural hazard resilience in Aotearoa. If you are a leader, policy developer, researcher, scientist, student, mana whenua, work in central, local or regional government, or are involved in community response and readiness, and you want to be part of creating a safer and more resilient future for Aotearoa, this symposium is for you!

te papa museum of new zealand

Te Tai Whanake symposium will be held at Te Papa Tongarewa Musuem of New Zealand on the waterfront in downtown Wellington.

View map >> 


There are a range of accommodation options close to the symposium venue. Attendees must make their own arrangements.

See options >>

Important Information

Transport and Accommodation

All travel to Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington and accommodation will need to be organised and paid for by the individual / their programme / their institution. The Directorate is unable to fund these costs or make arrangements on your behalf so we recommend that you discuss your travel and accommodation needs with your programme leads before booking. Flights and accommodation have been in short supply recently so we recommend making arrangements as soon as possible.


COVID Policy

Our Covid policy will not be in effect for this event. However, we encourage all attendees to RAT test prior to attending the symposium. Please stay home if you test positive for COVID-19, feel unwell, or otherwise have any cold or flu-like symptoms.

Mask wearing is encouraged but is at the individual's discretion.


Presenting A Poster

All Resilience Challenge research teams and students are encouraged to present a poster at the networking & poster session on Monday 13 May.

Details for how to submit an abstract will be provided in due course. Check back soon for updates!

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