Economics of Resilient Infrastructure

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Developing New Zealand’s understanding of the economic impacts of infrastructure outages


What is EoRI?

The Economics of Resilient Infrastructure (EoRI) project is a research project funded by the New Zealand government.

A new model will be developed which will:

  • quantify the economic implications of vulnerabilities to infrastructure failure from both natural hazards and infrastructure-only events, and
  • explore alternative infrastructure-related mitigation, adaptation and recovery strategies.

The model will enable a high resolution assessment across space and through time of the economic consequences of infrastructure failure, business response and recovery options.

Value Proposition

The new model is an integrated spatial decision support system called MERIT - Measuring the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure Tool. This will be available as a test-bed to inform public policy:

  • Central Government, where choices around new investment and the infrastructure resilience work programme are being made;
  • Local Government, where planning, investment and CDEM response issues relating to infrastructure are addressed;
  • Infrastructure providers looking to understand the wider societal value of infrastructure resilience improvements when considering investment and mitigation business cases

Advances in international economic modelling will be applied to significantly enhance New Zealand’s economic modelling capability in these key areas.

Business behaviours that influence economic outcomes may be identified and can be incorporated. Possible examples: post-event business migration; product diversification; supply chain changes.

The benefits of pre-event mitigation and post-event adaptation will also be testable. Possible examples: Steps by infrastructure providers and end-users to promote business continuity through investment in network redundancy, adoption of alternative infrastructure service delivery options post-event.

Our four-year research project (2012-2015) will focus on:

  • Auckland, recognising its importance for national economic development (nationally-significant investment decisions, some existing infrastructure vulnerabilities);
  • Christchurch, where earthquake recovery decisions are being made (benefits are expected for the rest of New Zealand following other large hazard events).

Outputs will describe local, regional and national impacts.

The tool, once developed for Auckland and Christchurch, will be portable. We aim to provide a resource useful at national and regional levels around all of New Zealand. Potentially, MERIT will also be portable internationally.

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Updated 15 May 2018