EQC outlines initiatives to boost New Zealand's resilience to natural hazards

Report highlights importance of accessible natural hazard insights and data

EQC outlines initiatives to boost New Zealand's resilience to natural hazards

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

The Earthquake Commission Toka Tū Ake (EQC) has published its 2023 Resilience and Research Highlights report, documenting a significant $14 million investment aimed at bolstering New Zealand's defences against natural hazards.

The report encapsulates the initiatives undertaken to enhance the nation's preparedness for such events in the future.

EQC chief resilience officer Dr Jo Horrocks underlined the dual focus of the commission.

“Most people know EQC manages the country's natural hazards insurance scheme, but we also invest millions every year in natural hazard research, data, and education to help reduce the impact of future events. This report covers some of the breadth of our work to build a more resilient New Zealand,” she said.

Importance of access to natural hazard insights and data

Horrocks stressed the necessity of making the insights and data concerning natural hazards readily available to those in positions of authority.

“Whether you're a government minister or someone looking to buy a house, our goal is to ensure every New Zealander is thinking about natural hazard risks when making decisions. We try to make this knowledge accessible, easy to understand and act on,” she said.

Initiatives to enhance New Zealand's natural hazard resilience

Featured within the report are projects and profiles of researchers dedicated to EQC's vision of resilience. This includes the work of Dr Calum Chamberlain from Victoria University of Wellington, who has been at the forefront of employing artificial intelligence to identify minor earthquakes that evade detection by conventional means. His research has significantly increased the number of detected seismic events, surpassing the figures reported by GeoNet.

Another highlight is the research conducted by Dr Enrique del Rey Castillo of the University of Canterbury, which questions the perceived high costs associated with earthquake-proofing buildings. His findings suggest that enhancing building resilience could be more cost-effective than commonly assumed.

Additionally, the report introduced EQC's Risk Tolerance Methodology, a novel approach in New Zealand aimed at guiding government agencies through risk-based decision-making concerning land use. This methodology seeks to facilitate decisions that are both robust and transparent.

In other news, the New Zealand government recently announced the expansion of its Temporary Accommodation Assistance initiative to further support a larger segment of the population impacted by extreme weather events.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!