NHRP / News


The 10-year Natural Hazards Research Platform programme has come to a close … BUT you can continue to read up on ongoing & new natural hazards research by visiting the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (Link) website.

Thanks to all those who have been involved with NHRP over the years, and to MBIE Science & Innovation (Link) for their support.


2019~◊~2018~◊~2017~◊~2016~◊~ 2015 ~◊~2014 ~◊~ 2013 ~◊~ 2012 ~◊~ 2011 ~◊~ 2010


Serious Games for Climate Change Adaptation - 11 Oct 2019

Dr Paula Blackett (NIWA) and colleagues use a 'serious games' approach to assist communities with the difficult choices around coastal adaptation and climate change. 

RNC-NHRP Research Forum

A joint forum co-hosted by the Resilience to Nature's Challenges and Natural Hazards Research Platform.  Registration is free.  Venue: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 30-31 May 2019, Wellington.

  • RNC-NHRP Forum Presentations are now available for download (Link).

Past geological evidence along the Hikurangi Subduction Zone - 17 April 2019

A major study lays out evidence of 10 possible large earthquakes along the high-risk Hikurangi Subduction Zone in the past 7500 years. The new study, published in the journal Marine Geology,  combines data collected from 22 sites that had been studied over the past 25 years and added in several new sites.

About the research, Dr Kate Clark (GNS Science) adds, “The research draws heavily upon studies funded over the years by EQC, NHRP & It's Our Fault (IOF). No single site can tell us about earthquakes that have impacted the whole margin. Periodically we do put everything together and look at the “big picture”, as we done in this study. Without the support of EQC, IOF and NHRP to undertake the smaller, more localised studies, these big picture compilations could not take place, so thank you for your continued support over the years.“ 

  • Read the published research - Clark K et al (2019) Geological evidence for past large earthquakes and tsunamis along the Hikurangi subduction margin, New Zealand. Marine Geology 412: 139-172.  Available online
  • NZ Herald, 'Study shows past rumbles on NZ's big quake danger zone' (LINK) - 17 April 2019

University of Canterbury researcher receives prestigious award from the American Society of Civil Engineers - March 2019

Professor Misko Cubrinovski (UC) is the recipient of the 2019 Ralph B. Peck Award for his contributions to the field of geotechnical engineering.  He is the second recipient from outside of North America to receive the ASCE Peck award in its 21-year history.

Kaikoura two years on - Nov 2018

World Tsunami Awareness Day - 5 Nov 2018

Quicker & safer tsunami evacuation - community workshops - Sept 2018

A team of researchers and scientists from GNS Science, Massey University and East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) hosted two community research workshops in Moera and Petone, Wellington, to improve computer-based tsunami evacuation models that simulate the movement of people who have self-evacuated on foot, following a long or strong earthquake that causes a large tsunami. (LINK)

National Geographic series 'Drain the Ocean' features research from NIWA scientist Dr Joshu Mountjoy - 10 Sept 2018

The episode airs on 11 September 2018 and is the sixth in a ten part series.  Mountjoy and colleagues have studies that Kaikoura canyon, and have data from before and after the 2016 earthquake. 

Contest 2015 - 'Unknown Faults under Cities' study sets baseline for urban fault investigations for Dunedin - 27 July 2018

The study in Dunedin follows a recommendation from the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission for more research to paint a better picture of the quake risk faced by population centres.  Dunedin was chosen for this initial study because active faults that were already known could potentially extend under the city, and it is a compact city where local scientists are already working on earthquake research.

'Shaky Shores: Coastal impacts & responses to the 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes' - 22 June 2018

A special publication from the New Zealand Coastal Society, followed by an opportunity for members of the public to discuss the science with the researchers. 

Event will be held Wed, 27 June 2018 at Kaikoura Memorial Hall. More details here

Selections of Kaikoura Earthquake research - 13 June 2018

  • Blake D et al (2018) A Citizen Science Initiative to Understand Community Response to the Kaikoura Earthquake and Tsunami Warning in Petone and Eastbourne, Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170292. Available online.
  • Bradley BA et al  (2018)  Influence of Site Effects on Observed Ground Motions in the Wellington Region from the Mw 7.8 Kaikoura, New Zealand, Earthquake.  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America,   Available online
  • Cubrinovski M et al  (2018)   Liquefaction‐Induced Damage and CPT Characterization of the Reclamations at CentrePort, Wellington. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.  Available online
  • Hamling, I.J., Hreinsdóttir, S., Clark, K., Elliott, J., Liang, C., Fielding, E., Litchfield, N., Villamor, P., Wallace, L., Wright, T.J., D'Anastasio, E., Bannister, S., Burbidge, D., Denys, P., Gentle, P., Howarth, J., Mueller, C., Palmer, N., Pearson, C., Power, W., Barnes, P., Barrell, D.J.A., Van Dissen, R., Langridge, R., Little, T., Nicol, A., Pettinga, J., Rowland, J., Stirling, M. (2017) Complex multifault rupture during the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake, New Zealand. Science, 356 (6334), art. no. eaam7194. DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7194. Available online.
  • Langridge RM et al (2018) Coseismic Rupture and Preliminary Slip Estimates for the Papatea Fault and Its Role in the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura, New Zealand, Earthquake. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170336. Published: June 12, 2018.  Available online.
  • Litchfield NJ et al (2018)  Surface Rupture of Multiple Crustal Faults in the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura, New Zealand, Earthquake.  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170300. Published: June 12, 2018.  Available online.
  • Little TA et al  (2018) Kekerengu Fault, New Zealand: Timing and size of late holocene surface ruptures, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Available online  
  • Mountjoy JJ et al (2018) Earthquake drive large-scale submarine canyon development and sediment supply to deep-ocean basins. Science Advances, Vol. 4, no. 3, eaar3748, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3748.  Available online 
  • Nicol A et al  (2018) Preliminary Geometry, Displacement, and Kinematics of Fault Ruptures in the Epicentral Region of the 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura, New Zealand, Earthquake. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America;  doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0120170329  Available online.
  • Massey C et al  (2018) Landslides Triggered by the 14 November 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake, New Zealand. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (2018).   Available online.  

What would a Mt Taranaki eruption look like? - 3 May 2018

Jamie Morton of the New Zealand Herald talks to Professor Shane Cronin (University of Auckland) about his latest findings (Link).

  • Torres-Orozco R, Cronin SJ, Pardo N, Palmer AS (2018) Volcanic hazard scenarios for multiphase andesitic Plinian eruptions from lithostratigraphy: Insights into pyroclastic density current diversity at Mount Taranaki, New Zealand. GSA BulletinAvailable online. 


Effect of the Kaikoura earthquake on the canyon floor & marine ecosystems - 15 March 2018

Study led by Dr Joshu Mountoy (NIWA) and colleagues published in the journal  Science Advances

Our sleeping taniwha: Hikurangi's tsunami threat - 10 March 2018

Jamie Morton's (NZ Herald) expanisive coverage of tsunami hazards from early warning systems, lessons from Japan and impacts on society (Link).

Science Media Centre on Mt Agung eruption - expert commentary from GNS Science- 29 Nov 2017

Volcanoes simply work on their own terms, and there is always a substantial level of uncertainty in forecasting natural hazards and their impact. In Bali, the unwavering resolution of both the population, the authorities and the monitoring scientists resulted in a remarkable success story that is for us all to reflect on.” - Dr Nico Fournier, GNS Science.  Read more here.

Contest 2017 :  Eleven new research projects funded - 13 Nov 2017 

The Natural Hazards Research Platform is pleased to announce that 11 new research projects have been funded.  The projects will receive funding amounting to $3.2 million (GST ex)  in total, and will run for two years from November 2017.   The selected projects address a broad range of natural hazards and demonstrate active stakeholder engagement with a clear understanding of how the research findings will be incorporated into end-user actions.  More information including a full list of the new projects is available here.

Radio NZ: Major fault failed twice during Kaikoura Earthquake - 27 Oct 2017

Research published by Caroline Holden et al (GNS Science) in Geophysical Research Letters (Link).

Conceptual Development of a National Volcanic Hazard Model for New Zealand - 28 June 2017

New work published by Mark Bebbington and co, funded by NHRP Contest 2015 

NHRP Contestable round is now open - Deadline 31 July 2017 - 9 Jun 2017

Visit the NHRP Funding pages for more information.

Kaikoura quake may prompt rethink of earthquake hazard models internationally -- 24 Mar 2017

NIWA’s offshore mapping adds more faults to the latest Kaikoura fault rupture map - 7 Mar 2017

Research explores impacts of hypothetical volcanic eruption in Auckland - 3 Mar 2017

Understanding the possible impacts of a volcanic eruption in Auckland is one of the first steps in preparing the city to survive and even thrive after such an event, scientists said today.

Responses to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission recommendations: Final Report - 13 Feb 2017 

Kaikoura Earthquake

Latest on the Hikurangi Subduction Zone - 20 Oct 2016

The Hikurangi subduction zone along the east coast of New Zealand is potentially our most damaging geohazard, capable of producing large magnitude earthquakes impacting on most of New Zealand. Scientists, emergency managers, and stakeholders are working together to understand the hazards of subduction zone earthquakes. Here are some recent developments:

UC engineers awarded prestigious Norman Medal - 7 Sept 2016

Congratulations to UC engineers Misko Cubrinovski and Brendon Bradley on being selected for the 2016 American Society for Civil Engineers Norman Medal. Cubrinovski and Bradley are co-recipients with Brett Maurer and Russell Green for their research paper:

  • Maurer et al (2014) Evaluation of the Liquefaction Potential Index for Assessing Liquefaction Hazard in Christchurch, New Zealand, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 140(7): 04014032 (LINK).

The Norman Medal is the highest honour granted by the ASCE for a technical paper that "makes a definitive contribution to engineering science."

East Cape magnitude 7.1 earthquake-tsunami - updated 6 Sept 2016

Minister Kaye announces national tsunami exercise – 29 Aug 2016

Over 100 organisations are getting ready to take part in Exercise Tangaroa, which will test New Zealand’s arrangements for preparing for, responding to and recovering from a major tsunami, says Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye.

The exercise will take place on three separate days in August and September.

“While there will be some public involvement, this exercise will mainly involve the agencies who would be part of a tsunami response, unlike our national earthquake drill, ShakeOut, which has a broader public participation,” says Ms Kaye.  (Link).

NHRP-funded research contributes to world-first low damage design bridge - 25 July 2016

Dr Alessandro Palermo at University of Canterbury previously worked on a Platform-funded project - 'Advanced bridge construction and design' - and is now seeing his research through to implementation as part of a 4 year project on 'Research-informed advancements in guidelines and standards of engineering practice' (Link).

In the News: Auckland University thinks big with wind tunnel testing - 15 Jul 2016

The New Zealand Wind Engineering Consortium - with researchers from Opus Research, University of Auckland, GNS Science and NIWA - is working on a 4 year Platform-funded project to improve New Zealand's long-term resilience to wind storms (Link).

Radio NZ: Dr Ian Hamling (GNS Science) on using satellites & GPS to study land shifts - 4 June 2016 

A combination of satellite images, GPS data and conventional survey information dating back to the 1950s has uncovered the reason for a swarm of several thousand small earthquakes between 2004 and 2011 around the coastal Bay of Plenty town of Matata.  This project is funded by NHRP Contest 2015, EQC and LINZ.

Hamling et al 2016 Off-axis magmatism along a subaerial back-arc rift: Observations from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand, Science Advances  03 Jun 2016: Vol. 2, no. 6, e1600288 (available online)

Ministerial CDEM Silver Award to Dr David Johnston (Societal Theme leader) for contributions to civil defence and emergency management - 1 June 2016 

GeoNet on NZ's recent seismic AND volcanic rumblings - 12 May 2016

In the News: Platform research on megathrust earthquakes  - 9 May 2016

Research published this week in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America has found evidence that at least ten huge earthquakes have impacted Hawkes Bay in the last 7500 years.  Megathrust earthquakes include the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes. The published work was funded as part of Platform's Contest 2012 'Great megathrust earthquake hazards' to Dr Bruce Hayward (Geomarine Research).

Minor White Island eruption  - 28 Apr 2016 

As a result of this activity the Volcanic Alert Level is now raised to Level 3 (Minor Volcanic Eruption) and the Aviation Colour Code to Orange.No eruptive activity has been seen since about 11:00 pm yesterday.  See GeoNet for the latest information.

LIVE CHAT re earthquake activity around the Pacific "Ring of Fire" - 18 Apr 2016

International report on use of data to measure & monitor recovery following Canterbury earthquakes - 31 Mar 2016

This report was commissioned by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, a nonprofit, technical society committed to reducing earthquake risk.

Mapping Lake Tekapo lake floor to understand hazards - 17 Mar 2016 

Dr Joshu Mountjoy (NIWA) and his team have identified large landslides covering more than half of the lake in what is the first scientific project to map the lake floor.  Mountjoy's project is titled 'Southern Lakes Tsunami Hazard' and has been funded as part of Contest 2015.

Tsunami Blue Lines project adopted in the United States - 11 Mar 2016

Wellington's award winning Tsunami Blue Lines Project has been adopted by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The project is the first of its kind in the U.S, inspired by initiatives in New Zealand.

UNISDR takes note of Christchurch recovery and Wellbeing Survey - 7 Mar 2016 

Research team identify features of paleoliquefaction following recent earthquake - 23 Feb 2016

Scientists Peter Almond (Lincoln), Monica Giona Bucci  (Lincoln) and Pilar Villamor (GNS Science) are investigating paleoliquefaction as part of a NHRP three-year funded project (Canterbury Earthquake Research Programme).  By identifying evidence of paleoliquefaction, the team can begin to shape a history of past earthquake where no evidence of surface rupture exists.  Their findings can also help councils and hazard management groups identify areas that need geotechnical assessment prior to development.  More on their findings here. 

The 2010-11 Canterbury Earthquakes - 19 Feb 2016

The 2010-11 Canterbury earthquake sequence signalled a turning point in New Zealand’s natural hazards awareness, preparedness and response.  We’d like to thank all the scientists, engineers and researchers who devoted much of their time towards making New Zealand a safer place to live.

The research outputs related to the Canterbury earthquakes can be viewed here and are continually being updated

Latest update on the magnitude 5.7 Christchurch earthquake - updated 29 Feb 2016

Sendai Framework 2015-30: Next Steps - updated 3 Feb 2016

In his closing statement at the Geneva conference, Dr Robert Glasser, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)  stated that “Implementation of the Sendai Framework will rely on integrated and multi-disciplinary research that bridges social and natural sciences and uses both quantitative and qualitative data.”  Glasser called for users to be included in the "earliest stages of developing research and technology, for improved dialogues with citizen groups and the use of scenarios that make science sensible to decision-makers and the general public."   For more from Sendai, see the links below –

The UNISDR held this 3-day conference to focus on the science & technology contribution towards the Sendai Framework. David Johnston, NHRP Societal Theme Leader, was in attendance. Follow the conversation at #Science4Sendai (♦ Link to conference)

Geologists probe quake history of northern part of Alpine Fault - updated 2 Feb 2016

Platform-funded researcher Dr Rob Langridge (GNS Science) is leading a team of geologists across the Alpine Fault at Springs Junction next week to study the rupture behaviour of the northern section of the fault. 

Sendai Framework 2015-30: Next Steps - 22 Jan 2016

The UNISDR is holding this 3-day conference (27-29 January 2016), focused on the science & technology contribution towards actioning the Sendai Framework. David Johnston, NHRP Societal Theme Leader, is a member of the New Zealand delegation. Follow the conversation at #Science4Sendai (♦ Link to conference).

Geologists probe quake history of northern part of Alpine Fault - 21 Jan 2016 

Platform-funded researcher Dr Rob Langridge (GNS Science) is leading a team of geologists across the Alpine Fault at Springs Junction next week to study the rupture behaviour of the northern section of the fault.  Read more.

Innovative Bridge Design Handbook (2016) out now! - 13 Jan 2016

Research from Nawawi Chouw (Univ Auckland) on the dynamics of bridge structures features.

NIWA's Annual Climate Summary for 2015 is out now! - 12 Jan 2016

Launch of new East Coast LAB website. Platform researchers involved! - 1 Dec 2015

Platform researchers are working alongside the East Coast LAB to improve the resilience of communities on the East Coast of the North Island to natural hazards associated with the Hikurangi subduction zone.  Visit the East Coast LAB to learn more about how you can be involved. 

Preparing New Zealand for Rising Seas: Certainty and Uncertainty - 19 Nov 2015

NIWA’s use of Riskscape features prominently in sea level rise report released by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.  This report looks at the risks to homes, businesses and infrastructure built on low-lying land close to the coast. The report contains eight recommendations to Government which includes direction and advice given to council and the fiscal risks of sea level rise.

In the News: Platform researcher Dr Levi Timar on economic analysis of the Canterbury earthquakes - 16 Nov 2015

Radio NZ: NIWA tool gives 2 day advance flood warning - 27 Oct 2015

Chile magnitude 8.3 earthquake. MCDEM issues tsunami marine and beach warning - updated 18 Sept 2015

A tsunami warning marine and beach threat has been issued for East Coast & Chatham Islands.
 People in these areas should follow this advice:
 1. Stay out of the water (sea, rivers and estuaries, including boating activities)
 2. Stay off beaches and shore areas
 3. Do not go sightseeing
 4. Share this information with family, neighbours and friends
 5. Listen to the radio and/or TV for updates
 6. Follow instructions of local civil defence authorities.


Link to GNS video on NZ Tsunami Hazards

Reflecting on the fifth anniversary of the Darfield Earthquake - 3 Sept 2015

Societal Theme Leader appointed to Scientific Committee on High Impact Weather - 10 August

Beginning in 2016, David Johnston will become co-chair of the Scientific Steering Group of the High Impact Weather Project (HIWeather) working alongside Metservice and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). HiWeather is a ten-year project that aims to achieve a dramatic increase in resilience to high impact weather worldwide through improving forecasts and enhancing their communication and utility in social, economic and environmental applications.

New Zealand Symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction: Benchmarking the Sendai Framework - 23 July 2015

A series of talks to frame New Zealand's participation in the Sendai Framework. Hosted by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management at Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (VIDEO).

Social Science + MetService = risk-based severe weather warnings - 30 June 2015

Social scientist Sally Potter (JCDR) is working with MetService to develop a weather-based early warning system. In June, Sally gave a presentation to the American Meteorological Society which you can listen to online (AUDIO). Previously, Sally was instrumental in updating NZ’s volcanic alert system to improve on how scientific information is communicated. Sally’s research with MetService is funded by the Natural Hazards Research Platform with some support from MBIE via the US-NZ Joint Commission on Natural Hazards.

Nature paper includes NHRP findings: "Pool knowledge to stem losses from disaster" - 18 June 2015

Professor David Johnston, NHRP Societal Theme Leader, contributed his findings to this week's opinion piece published in Nature 522, 277-279 (18 June 2015).

'Working from the same page" - MCDEM on consistent messaging for the CDEM sector - 11 June 2015 

Consistent messages for CDEM is a reference that provides nationally agreed, consistent messages for all civil defence organisations and emergency services to use. Read more at MCDEM.

Radio NZ: NIWA scientists on extreme weather, climate change....and citizen science! - 9 June 2015

NIWA scientists Sam Dean and Suzanne Rosier discuss the recent storms, floods and droughts across New Zealand and the influence of climate change upon these. Read more (♦ Link)

MCDEM updates the National CDEM Plan - 5 June 2015

The National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan sets out the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in reducing risks and preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies. This includes central and local government, lifeline utilities, emergency services and non-government organisations. The current Plan incoporates important lessons from the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquakes. Read more (♦ Link)

Geological evidence has been found of subduction quakes occurring under central New Zealand - 18 May 2015

♦ The quakes occurred in the Cook Strait-Marlborough area 520 to 470 years ago and 880 to 800 years ago. Scientists obtained records of the earthquakes by examining sediment cores from the salt marshes at Big Lagoon, east of Blenheim. The cores showed evidence of two sudden subsidence events during the past 1000 years where the land dropped by up to half a metre. Sudden large drops of this nature can only be caused by moderate-to-large earthquakes, and these two events did not match any known large earthquakes on nearby faults in the upper (Australian) plate. Read more (♦ Link).  

Campbell Live Interview with GNS Scientist Ursula Cochran (♦ Link)

♦ The research team was supported by GNS Science Crown Research Institute core funding, It's Our Fault, EQC Biennial round, and the Platform's Contest 2012 'Great Megathrust Earthquake' to Geomarine Research (♦ Link)

Platform-funded work features in 'Most Downloaded' list - 15 May 2015

Congratulations to Grant, Tom, Natalia and Jim!

Wilson, G., Wilson, T.M., Deligne, N.I., Cole, J.W. (2014) Volcanic hazard impacts to critical infrastructure: A review. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 286, pp. 148-182. Available online DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.08.030

Scientists map Auckland volcanic zone - 7 May 2015

A new, geology-based approach has predicted just how susceptible various areas of Auckland are for initial explosive volcanic activity – with Three Kings and Māngere identified as potentially high-risk areas. The project team included Gábor Kereszturi (Massey), Jon Procter (Massey), Shane Cronin (Univ Auckland), Mark Bebbington (Massey), Mr Mike Tuhoy, Karoly Nemeth (Massey) and Jan Lindsay (Univ Auckland). Read more .(♦ Link).

Nepal needs help to build back better - 29 April 2015

Opinion piece in today's Dominion Post by Dr Richard Sharpe, Technical Director of Earthquake Engineering, Beca. Dr Sharpe was the team leader for the UNCHS(Habitat)-funded drafting of the Nepal National Building Code in Kathmandu in 1992-94 (♦ Link).

Latest research on Alpine Fault - April 2015

  • Dr Ursula Cochran (GNS Science) on Alpine Fault earthquake geology (♦ Link)
  • Dr Caroline Orchiston (Univ Otago) on preparing for an Alpine Fault earthquake (♦ Link)

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction features the Canterbury earthquake sequence - April 2015

A cross-section of Platform funded research appears in this special issue (♦ Link).

Tropical Cyclone Pam - updated 19 March 2015

For regular updates about the Pacific Islands climate and weather patterns, visit NIWA Island Climate Update (♦ Link)

3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Get the latest at #WCDRR, #Sendai2015, #NZDRR - 16 March 2015

GAR15 - Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction- 4 March 2015

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that “growing global inequality, increasing exposure to natural hazards, rapid urbanization and the overconsumption of energy and natural resources threaten to drive risk to dangerous and unpredictable levels with systemic global impacts." The economic losses from disasters are now reaching an average of US$250 billion to US$300 billion annually. More on this here (♦ Link).

NHRP CONTESTABLE ROUND 2015 - 27 Feb 2015.

Link to the RFP and Investment Guidelines found here (♦ Link).

Fire ban across Canterbury as drought-like conditions take hold - 9 Jan 2015

Wilberforce earthquake unlikely to greatly affect the Alpine Fault scientists say - 7 Jan 2015

GNS Science believes this week’s magnitude 6.0 quake west of Arthur’s Pass has not greatly increased the chance of a rupture on the Alpine Fault, about 20km to the west of Tuesday’s epicentre. In a preliminary study, the Wilberforce earthquake increased stress on parts of the Alpine Fault and reduced the amount of stress elsewhere on the fault. Overall, any impact on the fault has been minor. Read the full Media Release here.

New Zealand Geographic and the Auckland Volcanic Field - Jan 2015

Interviews with Jan Lindsay (Univ Auckland), Graham Leonard (GNS Science) and Natalia Deligne (GNS Science) in the latest issue out now.

 Wellington joins 100 Resilient Cities Network - 3 Dec 2014

Wellington has won a bid to be part of the international network 100 Resilient Cities. Last year, The Rockefeller Foundation launched the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge (RC100) to help cities around the world become more resilient to physical, social and economic challenges. Being part of the Resilient City Network will bolster the current work being undertaken by the Wellington region’s International Centre of Excellence for Community Resilience – a partnership between the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office (WREMO) and the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR). The award-winning Tsunami Blue Lines project and 'Its Our Fault' research project, in addition to other key projects carried out by Wellington City Council contributed to its selection today. (Official Announcement and Media)

Platform researchers contribute to 2nd Prep Comm of 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction - 19 Nov

NZ statement made at the 2nd Preparatory Comm)ittee of 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. Prof David Johnston and Dr Christine Kenney (Societal Resilience Theme / Joint Centre for Disaster Research) accompanied Philip Gibson, NZ Govt Special Envoy for Disaster Risk Management (Link ♦).

New fault line in Wellington - 8 Oct 2014

In research funded by the 'Its Our Fault' programme, scientists at NIWA and GNS Science have described a new fault line. At an announcement earlier today, GNS scientist Russ Van Dissen said the fault does not appreciably increase the overall ground-shaking hazard in Wellington. “Any ground-shaking that this fault could produce is already considered in Wellington’s seismic hazard calculations... it is already accounted for in the building code." To learn more, visit:

Platform contribution to international disaster risk reduction - 2 Oct 2014

The UNISDR is the coordinating body for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), which will take place in Sendai, Japan from 14-18 March 2015. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) is playing a key role in global disaster risk reduction. The Platform is supporting MFAT’s endeavours through participation in the working group for 3WCDRR and in providing input to the post-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action (Link).

The UNISDR also coordinates the Global Assessment Report (GAR) - a comprehensive review and analysis of disaster risk and risk management published every two years. Several NHRP-funded researchers have contributed to GAR reports in the past year. Kelvin is now leading a panel of GEM governing board members to review reports on Seismic Hazard and the Global Exposure Database (Link).

'100 Resilient Cities': Q & A with Mike Gillooly, Chief Resilience Officer for Christchurch - 30 July 2014

Researchers from Resilient Organisations to speak at ‘100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge’ forum in New York - 13 June 2014

Resilient Organisations (ResOrgs) researchers John Vargo and Erica Seville will give a presentation on 13 June to the Rockefeller Foundation. The Foundation launched the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge last year to enable 100 cities to improve their urban resilience over the next three years. Christchurch is receiving support from the Rockefeller Foundation to create and implement a resilience plan.

Platform Research on Radio New Zealand's 'Our Changing World' - 12 June 2014

  • Radio NZ interview with Tony Bromley and Mike Revell (NIWA) on the joint NIWA-Opus Research project that investigates wind speed over complex terrain. Their observations in the field and using the Opus Research Wind Tunnel will contribute to how buildings are designed to withstand environmental factors (Transcript)
  • Radio NZ interview with William Power and Graham Leonard (GNS Science) on tsunami hazard in New Zealand (Transcript)

Tongariro eruption of 2012 - Articles in press from GNS Science, Massey University and NIWA in Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research - June 2014

A GNS Science study on tsunami risk in Napier has been incorporated into the region’s hazards planning - 5 June 2014

In work led by PhD student Stuart Fraser and GNS scientist William Power, earthquake and inundation scenarios, and vertical evacuation options have been developed for Napier and incorporated into hazards planning by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council. During tsunami, vertical evacuation (evacuation to a high rise structure) is an option when moving inland or to high ground isn’t possible. The study has been published in the January issue of Natural Hazards. [Fraser et al 2014 Tsunami inundation in Napier, New Zealand, due to local earthquake sources. Natural Hazards 70(1): 415-445]

University of Auckland engineers are named IPENZ Fellows - 2 April 2014

Jason Ingham and Pierre Quenneville are amongst five University of Auckland professors chosen for the prestigious award. IPENZ Fellowship is offered by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) and is awarded in recognition of outstanding individual engineering achievement and contribution.

University of Canterbury engineers simulate large earthquakes to test earthquake-resistant design 19 March 2014

Stefano Pampanin (University of Canterbury) discusses earthquake shake table simulations, low damage technologies and the upcoming NZ Society for earthquake engineering conference, to be held in Auckland in March (VIDEO)

In the news: Researchers at Massey University simulate NZ volcanoes in the laboratory - 6 March 2014

Volcanologists at Massey University have created machinery to simulate eruptions expected from different NZ volcanoes. This will help scientists better understand volcanic flows and assist with hazard planning. This research is supported by the Marsden fund with key linkages to Platform [VIDEO].

In the news: Long-term vulnerabilities of coastal communities - 6 March 2014

TV3 interview with NIWA scientist Dr Rob Bell and University of Canterbury lecturer Dr Deirdre Hart on implications of rising sea levels for Christchurch and coastal communities throughout New Zealand [VIDEO].

Christchurch flooding - 5 March 2014

A storm overnight has resulted in a '1-in-a-100-year' flood event in Christchurch. Earthquake-induced ground deformations since Sept 2010 are contributing to the heightened flood risk, University of Canterbury (UC) researchers say.

  • Related news: Sonia Giovinazzi (University of Canterbury) part of international team addressing earthquake-flood multihazard impacts (LINK ♦)

Eketahuna earthquake - Jan 2014

Link to Geonet for latest update on the January 20th Eketahuna earthquake, Mw 6.2.

Dart River landslide - 21 Jan 2014

On 6 January 2014, a landslide across the Dart River caused a lake to form and cut-off access to a walking track. GNS scientist Dr Simon Cox explains some of the processes and features of the Dart River landslide, including some mysterious 'dust bubbles' at the base of a mud waterfall. VIDEO and media coverage.

Super strong crust a key factor in the Canterbury earthquakes - 2013

26 Nov 2013 - Newly published research from GNS Scientist Martin Reyners has shown that the Canterbury earthquakes were even more unusual than first thought and such a sequence is unlikely to occur anywhere else in the world.

How GNS Science estimates the possibility of future earthquakes - 2 Nov 2013

The possibility of future earthquakes is based on models of earth behaviour developed at GNS Science and informed by research done in other seismically-active countries. Read more here.

MBIE: RFP for National Science Challenges out now. Link to Media - 5 Oct 2013

National Tsunami Hazard Model developed - 30 September 2013

William Power (GNS Science) led the team which developed the new National Tsunami Hazard Model. For the first time, the model includes all coasts of New Zealand. This work was funded by MCDEM but drew heavily from past work within the Platform. Link to the reports.

Latest on Cook Strait/Lake Grassmere Earthquakes

NIWA: Earthquake potential of faults off the West Coast - 3 Sept 2013

Seismic research by NIWA scientists off the West Coast of the South Island has identified faults capable of causing earthquakes with magnitudes of up to 7.8. Their work in reassessing the faults will be important for updating the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model which combines historic and prehistoric earthquake information to estimate how often earthquakes have occurred and where.

NIWA's snow mobilisation survey is launched! - 20 June 2013

This work will improve NIWA's records on the levels of snow fall. This information informs building load standards (snow load), prevents livestock loss, and identifies areas where power lines are vulnerable to ice, snow and wind. Read more here.

NIWA at Fieldays - 12 June 2013

NIWA's web-based weather forecasting information service called NIWA forecast aims to help farmers and growers identify the right time to carry out weather-dependent operations like irrigation, spraying and harvesting. For more information including video, go to this link.

Dr Chris Massey (GNS Science) discusses the Wellington landslide on Radio NZ 'Nine to Noon.' - 4 June 2013

Chris' research team is funded by the Platform to investigate slope stability in Wellington and Christchurch. Listen here.

NIWA scientist Dr Mike Revell discusses tornadoes. [VIDEO] - 22 May 2013

In the news - Waiting on tsunami warning sirens may cause deadly delays. [VIDEO] - 8 April 2013

This edition of the New Zealand Herald contains a series of reports about tsunami risks across New Zealand. Dr Graham Leonard of GNS Science and David Coetzee of CDEM talk about tsunami risks and the limited advantages of tsunami sirens, especially for local-source tsunami. As Coetzee explains, "..There is only one best way - and that is ourselves feeling the earthquake and responding to that....it's a matter of public education to prevent the complacency ... and let the public understand what a siren can and can't do." Read more here.

In the news – Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority’s 2012 Wellbeing Survey - 20 Feb 2013

CERA developed the Canterbury Wellbeing Index to measure the progress of earthquake recovery. The self-reported wellbeing data identifies prevalence and causes of stress, quality of life impacts, and other outcomes as a result of the earthquakes. The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey is a multi-organisational collaboration with funding from the Natural Hazards Research Platform and CERA. Read the media release and report here.

Platform engineers lead the way towards improved seismic performance of NZ bridges - 15 Feb 2013

Dr Alessandro Palermo, University of Canterbury, is leading a four-year research project funded by the Natural Hazards Research Platform on Advanced Bridge Construction and Design. Palermo has extensively studied bridge performance in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes and with University of Auckland colleague Liam Wotherspoon developed a bridge report for Platform’s Short Term Recovery Programme. Read more about Dr Palermo's research here.

Platform Director presents the Joyner Memorial Lecture - 15 Feb 2013

Dr Kelvin Berryman gave the 2013 Joyner Memorial Lecture at this year's Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Conference in Seattle. The William B. Joyner Memorial Lecture was established by the Seismological Society of America (SSA) in cooperation with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to honor Bill Joyner (USGS) and his commitment to the exchange of information between earthquake science and earthquake engineering, influencing seismic building codes. Joyner Lecturers are nominated by their peers on the basis of their work at this interface. Read more about Bill Joyner at this link.

Platform-funded University of Auckland student to present her research in Tokyo - 4 Feb 2013

Ms Yuanzhi Chen (PhD student) is one of three UoA engineering students awarded travel grants from the Tokyo Institute of Technology to attend the 10th International Conference on Urban Earthquake Engineering in Japan. Ms Chen studies the effects of strong near source ground motions on structures under the direction of A.Prof Nawawi Chouw.

Platform-ECAN project to identify future liquefaction hazards - 1 Feb 2013

Project to study liquefaction susceptibility involved researchers from GNS Science, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and technical consultants from the Christchurch area. Reports available here. 

New appointments for Platform Scientists 

♦♦♦ David Johnston appointed Chair of IRDR Scientific Committee (Dec 2012)

Platform theme leader Professor David Johnston assumes the role of Chair for the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR). The IRDR is a 10-year research programme co-sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). The IRDR will examine the challenges brought by natural hazards, focussing on mitigation and improvement in policy mechanisms.

For more information about the IRDR, visit their website.

♦♦♦ Stefano Pampanin elected President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering 

Stefano Pampanin, Associate Professor in Structural Design & Earthquake Engineering, University of Canterbury, was elected President of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE), at its annual conference in April. Professor Pampanin was an expert panel member at the Royal Commission hearings on the Canterbury Earthquakes, and leads several projects for Platform in improvement of seismic response and low damage systems.

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Technical reports on Port Hills slope stability now available - 28 Sept 2012

These reports were prepared in response to the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquakes and contain recommendations for the Christchurch City Council on how to address the risk from rockfall/boulder roll and cliff collapse. Initial funding for this work was provided by the Platform’s Short Term Recovery Programme. To access the reports, go to this  link.

Natural Hazards Research Platform involved in Global Volcano Model Network (GVM) - 24 July 2012

Platform theme leaders Dr Gill Jolly (Geological Hazards) and Professor David Johnston (Societal Resilience) are leading their teams involvement in the GVM, formed in early 2012. Gill is on the Global Volcano Model Management Board, the steering committee, and also contributing to the Hazard Indices Task Force. It is envisaged that many outputs from volcano-related projects within the Platform will contribute significantly to GVM. In particular, many of the milestones from DEVORA in the hazard and risk model are closely aligned to GVM objectives. Read more here.

South American eruption reveals lessons for NZ - Friday, 13 July 2012

Platform scientists Dr Tom Wilson (University of Canterbury) and Dr Carol Stewart (Joint Centre for Disaster Research) have taken a research team to Chile and Argentina to study the effects of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle eruption of last year. Their findings will contribute to a volcanic ash analysis protocol for New Zealand.


The power of RiskScape - 14 June 2012

The Dominion Post talks to Platform scientist Kim Wright (GNS) about RiskScape, software developed by GNS Science and NIWA as a multi-hazards forecast and risk mitigation tool.


Latest earthquake briefing following Dec 23rd quake - 6 Jan 2012

Kelvin Berryman, Platform Manager, and researchers from GNS Science and University of Canterbury discuss recent earthquake activity.

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Platform-ECAN project to identify future liquefaction hazards - 25 Nov 2011

Project to study liquefaction susceptibility involving researchers from GNS Science, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and technical consultants from the Christchurch area. Link updated 11 Jan 2018.

Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission - 11 Oct 2011

Platform researchers from GNS Science, University of Canterbury and University of Auckland contribute expert advice. Technical reports can be found here.

NZ scientists lead Pacific tsunami planning - TVNZ One - 26 September 2011

GNS scientists, Phil Glassey and Kim Wright, talk about their latest work in Samoa. This project is a partnership of GNS Science and the Samoa Disaster Management Office, and is funded by the NZ Government through the NZ Aid Programme.

Structex awarded for hospital building's seismic performance - Press Release - 12 August 2011

Platform researcher and PRESSS expert Stefano Pampanin collaborated with Structex in the design of Southern Cross Hospital's Endoscopy building in Christchurch. This building garnered attention for its innovative structural solutions and seismic performance following the February earthquake, earning its designers two national awards.

"Ever Wondered?"  TVNZ 7 - Episode 4 - 28 August 2010

Host John Watt discusses tsunami preparedness with Graham Leonard, GNS Science; and effects of volcanic ash with Tom Wilson, University of Canterbury (♦ Link).

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