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Kia ora <<First Name>>, ,

The big news last week was the public release by GNS Science of the updated National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM). This internationally-endorsed update incorporates new scientific insights from the last decade and represents a monumental effort across many researchers and agencies, and much of it achieved during the constraints of lockdowns and closed borders. Congratulations to the NSHM researchers, supporting agencies, and the GNS communications team! This new view of New Zealand’s earthquake hazard will be an important input to how we collectively improve the resilience of buildings and infrastructure and plan resilient urban development. Resilience Challenge researchers were contributors to the NSHM process, and new insights from our Earthquake and Tsunami Programme are improving the understanding of how New Zealand’s faults interact with each other over time. As well as understanding the hazard and risks, our researchers are proud to also be contributing to research into safe seismic building design—check out this edition’s student profiles for more on this important work!

In this month’s newsletter we celebrate the recent successes of Resilience Challenge kairangahau, update you on research progress, profile our hard-working students, and highlight events and opportunities for you.

Mā te wā,
The Resilience Challenge Directorate

Ngā aupiki | Recent success

Tuatahi, congratulations to Prof Christine Kenney of Massey University who was recently appointed as co-leader of our Rural Communities research programme. Christine has been involved as a researcher with the Resilience Challenge since Phase 1. In stepping into the co-leadership role she intends focus on to supporting colleagues and students to advance their research expertise and achievements. Find out more below...

Tuarua, further congratulations to Prof Christine Kenney and her research partners at Tāne Mahuta NZ Ltd. Together, Cassie and Tāne Mahuta, a kaupapa maori led agribusiness, have developed a case study looking at cascading hazards in the eastern Bay of Plenty, which showcases best practice in Māori agribusiness resilience. Tāne Mahuta provides ongoing employment opportunities for rangatahi (young people) through a ‘learn while you earn’ training model, recently winning the 2022 Good Employer Award in the Māori Agribusiness category of the MPI Good Employer Awards. Mīharo!

Tuatoru, congratulations to Dr Nick Cradock-Henry who was recently appointed as a Principal Social Scientist at GNS Science. Nick joins GNS from Manaaki Whenua and continues to co-lead the Resilience in Practice programme within the Challenge. This is great news for GNS and great for us too, as now Nick is literally just down the hall! Nau mai, haere mai Nick!


Congratulations to all the participants in our recent online Students Accelerating Resilience Research (STARR) Talks. This annual Resilience Challenge event gives our student cohort an opportunity to present their research to the wider Resilience whanau as either a 10-minute presentation or a 3-minute lightning talk. The STARR Kaupapa was born out of limited presentation opportunities due to COVID restrictions and provides a safe space for all students to engage and seek collaboration with their peers.

This year 15 students presented and the RNC Directorate were very impressed by the quality of the presentations and the work they are undertaking. Selecting winners was a tough call, but we are excited to announce the 2022 STARR Talk winners are:

Best 10 Minute/10 Slide Presentation: Jamie MacKenzie
Best 3 Minute Lightning Talk: Manomita Das

The RNC Directorate were impressed by Jamie and Manomita's demonstration of engaging and compelling storytelling supported by rigorous scientific research. The Directorate also awarded Eleanor Chaos, Anna-Kay Spaulding-Abenyegah and Thomas Wallace’s presentations with “highly commended” awards. These students impressed us with their explanations of complex science, community perspectives and overall presentation quality.

We’re looking forward to the next STARR talk event in 2023. Ka rawe!

Pānui rangahau | Research updates

Q&A with Christine Kenney

Prof Christine Kenney (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāi Tahu) is a familiar face, having been part of the Resilience Challenge since Phase 1. A registered health professional with a background in sociology, Christine engages in community-led participatory research. Stepping into the role of Rural Programme co-leader she hopes to strengthen research relationships within our collective of senior and uniquely skilled rural research specialists.

Find out more...

Multihazard Risk Model Case Study

Our Multihazard Risk programme is developing a 2-3 decade-long forecastable multihazard simulation for a river sedimentation and flooding event scenario in the Rangitaiki-Tarawera river system. Driven by a volcanic eruption in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the simulation includes eruption-related seismicity, lahars and mass movements, as well as unrelated tectonic and weather-related phenomena.

Find out more...

Ē waru pātai whakahau me Ahorangi Taiarahia Black

In Eight Quick Questions with Prof Taiarahia Black we find out about Ē Au Ai Te Reo, Taiao – Kaitiakitanga Reo Rangahau research platform's connections to Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2022 and the Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori lecture series hosted by the Te Whare Taonga Ō Taketake Whakatāne District Museum & Research Centre.

Find out more...

Slipping away: Can we keep fixing up after landslides?

Recently landslides have been making headlines for their impact on multiple communities around the country, including some that are still recovering from previous landslide events. This begs the question, how long can we keep fixing up after landslides? Resilience Challenge researchers Dr Andrea Wolter & Assoc Prof Liam Wotherspoon recently featured on RNZ's The Detail to address this very question.

Find out more...

Huinga tangata, huinga kōrero | Events

DEVORA - RNC Joint Forum

25 - 26 October, Auckland
The Resilience Challenge has teamed up with Devora to host the 15th Annual DEVORA Forum. This year's themes are:

  • Fresh perspectives on Auckland's hazardscape
  • Understanding our volcanoes
  • Assessing and managing our hazards
  • Engaging our diverse communities

Download the flier for details & links.

Urban Theme Wānanga

9am - 5pm, 7 November
Te Rau Karamu Marae

The Resilience Challenge Urban theme invites all of its collaborators to attend their annual research wānanga.
Join core members as they present their latest research on
Smart Resilient Cities, Inclusive Urban Communities and Pathways to Urban Resilience.

Download the flier for details & links.

ISCRAM Asia Pacific 2022 Workshop

9.15am - 11.30am, 8 November
Auckland University of Technology

This workshop will facilitate dialogue between information system and technology researchers and emergency management professionals, bridging research with the technological wants and needs of the emergency management sector to enhance situation awareness and make effective decisions during large-scale crises. 

Download the flier for details & links.

Missed our recent webinars? No problem!

Catch the recordings of our on our YouTube channel, including out two most recent webinars:

Social Vulnerability in Disasters
Earthquake-Prone Marae: Whānau-based Solutions

Ngā āheinga | Opportunities

Resilience Challenge Manager Role

Come and work for the Resilience Challenge Directorate! We're looking for someone to ensure we run smoothly and maximise opportunities in our remaining two years. Our ideal candidate is skilled in project or operational management, enjoys collaboration, and wants to make a difference to Aotearoa.

Could this be you or someone you know? Please share!

Applications are open until Monday 17 October.

Tūtaki ki ā tātou tauira |
Meet Our Students

Kristian Azul

Joining us from the Philippines, Kristian has many passions, not least for photography and food! He also loves teaching and showing people what can be done if you have the right information. Through his PhD he is also dedicated to helping minimize the damage and casualties caused by earthquakes by developing more accurate models of liquefaction susceptibility and severity.

Read more…

Miloud Lacheheb

Miloud's studies have taken him around the world, from scorching hot Algeria, to wet and humid Malaysia, to freezing winters in Russia. Now, here in New Zealand he is building on his background in business management, economics and applied statistics and network analysis to determine the direct impact of tropical cyclones on fisheries revenue and develop a predictive model based on high-resolution geospatial data.

Read more…

Julián Rincón Gil

While he initially came to New Zealand just to improve his English, Julián soon found himself "stuck" when the COVID-19 pandemic closed all the borders and he couldn't leave! But he says this resulted in the best possible outcome; he rode out the pandemic by applying for a Resilience Challenge PhD scholarship and settling in Christchurch to study what he loves: structural and earthquake engineering.

Read more…

Kexin Wang

Joining us from Shandong, China, Kexin's grandfather inspired him to study structural engineering. After completing a Masters evaluating structural resilience following the Christchurch Earthquake, Kexin's PhD is investigating relationships between earthquake hazard, structure response and related economic losses, to reduce the impact of earthquakes on timber frame residential housing.

Read more…

Mehdi Bashiri

A passionate teacher, Mehdi thrives in the world of academia where transferring knowledge and seeing students grow brings him joy. After meeting his future supervisor at a conference in Tehran, Mehdi now finds himself doing a PhD that will help decision makers better determine whether steel frame buildings can be left as it, need repairs or need to be replaced following damage from an earthquake.

Read more…

Jay Kuethe

Combining ecology and geology, Jay studies the dynamics behind landscape stability and evolution. He is the founder of FlyDrive NZ, a drone-surveying company which focuses on landslide hazards, the formation and propagation of landslips, and tidal dynamics. As if running a company wasn't enough, he is also conducting a PhD looking at developing new insights into the origin and nature of the Tuhua Island volcanic centre.

Read more…

Ngā pitopito kōrero | Media

Challenge research and researchers featured in the following media stories this month:
Follow the Resilience Challenge on social media
Copyright © 2018 Resilience to Nature's Challenges, All rights reserved.

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