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A New Year, New Projects - 15 January 2016

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 Happy New Year and welcome back! 

A photograph of the Platform Manager, Dr Hannah Brackley.

Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Hannah Brackley and I am the Acting Director of the Natural Hazards Research Platform. Kelvin Berryman, the Director of the Platform for the past 6 years is taking on new endeavours in New Zealand risk management. Not to fear though, Kelvin’s wisdom and guidance on all-things-hazards will continue to inspire us (he’s just down the hall!).  

So what’s new?  

As part of our core business, we have just funded a range of short- and long-term projects that reflect the top priorities of NZ end-users and contribute towards priorities for action under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai Framework). These projects cover geological, weather, flood and coastal hazards, resilient engineering, and economics, and include novel approaches to the topic of resilience (NHRP Projects).

On a larger scale, we are participants in the ‘Resilience’ drive that has entered our collective consciousness.  The Platform was – and is still - the first national programme to address resilience to natural hazards in New Zealand.   The New Zealand funding landscape has now expanded to include QuakeCoRE funded by New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission, and Resilience to Nature’s Challenges, one of the New Zealand Government’s recently established National Science Challenges.  Collectively these programmes expand the opportunities for natural hazards research to contribute to the improved resilience of societies.   The Platform and Resilience Challenge are both hosted by GNS Science, and along with the QuakeCoRE there will be plenty of opportunities to work together.

Sendai Resilience Dialogue 400

Expert panel at 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Photo: Hannah Brackley, NHRP

In what is very good news for New Zealand - nationally - is that others have taken up the call. Members of the business community have formed Resilient New Zealand – a collection of like-minded organisations that are taking the time to reflect on lessons from the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes to mitigate risks from future natural hazard events.  The Rhise Group led by the Canterbury District Health Board with partners, is also sharing lessons from Christchurch to enable the health sector to more effectively respond during crisis events.  East Coast LAB – with participation by Platform researchers – aims to inform North Island east coast communities about hazards along the Hikurangi subduction zone using a mix of outreach, citizen science, and museum education.  These are all great efforts that everyone in New Zealand can access.

As the Platform begins its programme of work through to 2019, we hope you join with us to share, learn and shape a more resilient New Zealand.

Dr Hannah Brackley - Manager Natural Hazards Research Platform

Blog updated 13 June 2016