$3.2 million for natural hazards projects

  • Steven Joyce
Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce today announced $3.2 million in funding for 13 new research projects under the Natural Hazards Research Platform.

The Research Platform was created in September 2009 by the Government to provide secure, long-term funding for natural hazard research, and to help research providers and end-users work more closely together.

The projects, which will run for two years from July 2015, address a broad range of natural hazard threats including active faults, river flood and coastal inundation hazards, and modelling aspects of volcanic activity in the central North Island.

“The 13 successful proposals demonstrate exceptional science quality and the presence of emerging researchers with excellent track records,” Mr Joyce says. “The projects will augment existing platform research and will strengthen or lead into new areas of research of national significance.

“Several of the successful proposals apply lessons learned from the Christchurch earthquakes to other regions of New Zealand. They also embrace the recommendations of the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission to investigate the potential presence of hidden active faults under urban areas.

“Another proposal will start the development of a national volcano hazard model to complement the widely-used national earthquake hazard model. And a further project will examine the potential of earthquake and landslide-driven tsunami in South Island lakes.”

The Research Platform encompasses five themes – building geological hazard models; predicting weather flood and coastal hazards; developing regional and national risk evaluation models; improving societal resilience; and improving the resilience of buildings and infrastructure.

It is led by GNS Science and includes NIWA as a co-anchor along with the University of Canterbury, Massey University, Opus Research and the University of Auckland as partners.

The new research will complement the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges National Science Challenge, and the QuakeCoRE Centre of Research Excellence in earthquake resilience.

More information including a full list of the new projects is available at: http://www.naturalhazards.org.nz