EQC funds research to reduce natural disaster risk

EQC funds research to reduce natural disaster risk | Insurance Business New Zealand

EQC funds research to reduce natural disaster risk

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has announced $1 million in funding for 16 research projects that aim to reduce the impact of natural hazards on New Zealand.

As part of the earthquake insurer’s annual $17 million of research funding aimed at reducing the impact of natural disasters on people and property in New Zealand, the winners of the 2020 EQC Biennial Awards are expected to look for new ways to detect signs of eruption in volcanoes, test new building materials, investigate a newly discovered fault on the Hauraki Plains, and develop low-cost early quake warning sensor networks.

“New Zealand is a risky country from a natural hazards point of view. Our research programme is focused on understanding more about New Zealand’s natural hazards, and working out how to reduce the impact on New Zealanders,” Dr Jo Horrocks, head of resilience strategy and research at EQC, said.

“We can’t stop earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or other hazards. But we can help minimise the impacts on communities and ensure that, as a nation, we are prepared to not just survive, but thrive, through periods of disruption.”

Read more: EQC reminds Kiwis to prepare for damaging earthquakes

The recipients – scientists at Auckland, Victoria, Massey, and Canterbury universities as well as GNS Science, BRANZ, and Resilient Organisations – are focused on better understanding of geological hazards, creating better engineering, and improving community resilience.

“EQC has invested in hundreds of research projects over many years to support scientific understanding of natural hazards so we can mitigate risk,” Horrocks said. “The results have led to new building techniques and better building codes, identifying at-risk land, and detailed information for planners and emergency managers about the likely effects of natural hazards in their region.

“When homeowners are paying their EQC levy, as well as getting natural disaster insurance, they are making a contribution to research that helps us understand the likelihood and impact of natural hazards, and what steps can be taken to reduce the impact on New Zealanders.”