News and updates

MEDIA RELEASE 

17 May 2017  

                                

Resilience Challenge funds $900,000 of research to make New Zealand more resilient to natural disasters.

 Resilience to Nature’s Challenges Kia manawaroa – Ngā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa has announced funding of over $900,000 across two years to six research projects designed to make New Zealanders more resilient in the event of natural disasters. Announcement of further successful projects is expected in the next few weeks.

The Resilience Challenge, one of eleven National Science Challenges funded by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment over 10 years, is a consortium of around 120 researchers and students from six universities, three crown research institutes, and two private research organisations. 

The Challenge represents a new partnership approach to responding to and recovering from natural hazards and risks in New Zealand.

Challenge Director Professor Shane Cronin says that the six funded projects will deepen our knowledge of resilience to natural hazard in New Zealand, and provide exciting fresh ideas, and new people, into the initiative, now in its second year of operation.

“It is thrilling that the six selected projects, assessed by an international team of experts in resilience science, represent a diverse range of approaches to resilience science embodying the Challenge’s co-creation philosophy,” Professor Cronin says.

All of the selected projects engage with end-users throughout the design and implementation phases of the research, and this includes citizen science and kaupapa Māori approaches.

The newly funded work includes guiding legal frameworks around planning for management of extreme natural hazard in towns and cities, models demonstrating economic motivation for regional infrastructure investments with inbuilt resilience components, hazard/risk science communication initiatives, understanding our diverse communities, and building more resilient lifelines networks, especially in our electricity distribution sector.

Further information can be obtained from Professor Shane Cronin, 021 228 9882.

The funded projects are:

Principal

Investigator

Host Organisation Project Title Amount funded Summary
Loïc Le Dé Auckland University of Technology Participation and technology in citizen science for strengthening resilience to natural hazards (P-TECH in CITSCI) $115,363 The project will assess the role and contribution of technology in fostering genuine participation and citizen science in strengthening resilience to natural hazards in New Zealand. Its contribution spans theory to practice. The project will pioneer three unique citizen science initiatives including participatory mapping using drones, video games and Lego modelling, using a Geographic Information System as integrative platform. It will also reflect upon the process through which citizen knowledge is produced and identify lessons for fostering citizen’s participation in science in order to strengthen resilience to natural hazards. This project shall advance the citizen science agenda in disaster risk reduction in New Zealand.
Emily Grace GNS Science Retreating from impending disaster – addressing existing land uses in hazard areas for managed retreat $300,000

Many communities around New Zealand are located in the path of natural hazards that are increasing in impact such as sea level rise, coastal erosion and flooding. A planned and progressive retreat (termed managed retreat) from high risk areas is one option for managing these continued threats. This research will investigate a specific challenge to implementing managed retreat: the legal and social implications of changing existing land use in hazard areas. This applied research will combine legal and planning analysis to produce implementable strategies to improve local government capacity for managing retreat from high risk areas.

 

Lucy Carter Massey University Developing and evaluating culturally appropriate tsunami risk reduction activities for kura kaupapa Māori $48,696 (1 year)

This project aims to pilot a culturally appropriate educational outreach activity programme for primary school children enrolled at a kura kaupapa Māori. Research activities will be collaboratively designed, with mātauranga Māori as a focus, in order to increase awareness of regional hazards for Māori children in the Hawke’s Bay region. The researchers will work with educators, children and whānau at kura kaupapa Māori to build stronger whanaungatanga between Massey University, the East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary), Māori and educational institutions to foster enhanced hazard resilience within the community. Lessons learned from the evaluation will help inform future disaster education initiatives for both Māori and total immersion or bilingual schools. 

 

Morag Ayers Market Economics Ltd Characterising resilience to flow-on impacts of natural hazards in local economies within New Zealand $170,000 Natural hazards can directly and indirectly impact infrastructure, businesses, and communities, which are interconnected in complex ways. Focusing on the 11 Territorial Authorities in the Waikato region, we ask: ‘How do these interconnections affect the resilience of local economies to natural hazards?’ This study will develop a transferable method for identifying resilience-enhancing characteristics of local economies and ‘hot spots’ (critical industry sectors and inter-regional links) that amplify the flow-on impacts from natural hazards through the economy. The results will provide a greater level of detail which is needed to support local government and communities in prioritising resilience-building strategies.
Jesse Hession Grayman University of Auckland Disaster Preparedness and Resilience among Auckland’s Southeast Asian Communities $74,119 (1 year)

This project aims at understanding how particular Southeast Asian communities (Cambodian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Philippine, Thai and Vietnamese) identify, conceptualise and prepare for risks of natural hazards in Auckland. This study will provide an opportunity for these communities to co-develop proactive response strategies together with professional organisations, such as Auckland Council and its Civil Defence and Emergency Management Unit, tasked with responding to disaster situations. The findings will inform best practices with these communities.

 

Nirmal Nair University of Auckland Electricity Distribution Resilience Framework informed by West Coast Alpine Fault Scenario $200,000- 235,000 (to be confimed)

This project will develop novel electricity resilience framework, distinct from existing reliability analysis along with realistic micro-grid restoration solution, enabled through communication lifelines, following a significant Alpine Fault  earthquake impacting the West Coast of South Island to deliver limited electricity for 6-8 weeks using local energy resources. Through a co-creation project implementation with Westpower, one of NZ’s 29 distribution utility potentially impacted the most by the Alpine Fault, the overall goal is to disseminate project learnings, policies, guidelines, restoration methods and lifeline engagement models to all other NZ networks to help them better prepare for large scale future natural events impact.

 

_________________________________

URBAN AND RURAL RESILIENCE HIGHLIGHTED AT RESILIENCE CHALLENGE ANNUAL FORUM

The Resilience Challenge held its annual science forum on March 31, 2017, at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

Powerpoints of the presentations can be downloaded below.

____________________________________________

PHD OPPORTUNITIES

Lincoln scholarship logo

Call for applications

Fully-funded 3-year Doctoral Scholarship

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (National Science Challenge)

Lincoln University/Market Economics/Landcare Research

 

The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage and support doctoral research investigating rural resilience in New Zealand. This PhD research will form part of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges programme (National Science Challenge), across both the Rural Priority Co-Creation Laboratory and the Economics toolbox. Resilience to Nature’s Challenges is a ten-year programme of research focussed on building New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards including slow and rapid onset events (e.g. earthquakes, wild fire, volcanoes, climate change, drought). For more information please visit http://resiliencechallenge.nz.

 Transformational adaptation in the rural economy

Extreme droughts, snow fall events and earthquakes have repeatedly affected New Zealand’s primary industries in successive years, highlighting producers’ vulnerability to climate variability and change, and other extreme hazard events.  Transformational adaptation – major, purposeful action, often resulting in significant changes in structure or function – is likely required to successfully adapt to the impacts and implications of a changing climate and in order to ensure resilience to shocks and stressors. However there is limited understanding of how to initiate and sustain such major, non-marginal change within primary industries such as pastoral farming (dairy and sheep-and-beef), horticulture and viticulture (wine) industries. Identifying the drivers, barriers, and enablers of transformational adaptation will support planning and strategic decision-making for resilient futures at multiple scales including regional policy, farm management, and industry sectors.

 The successful candidate will undertake comparative case-study analysis, engaging with representative stakeholders from pastoral– sheep-and-beef and dairy farmers, or viticulture (wine) industry representatives (particularly growers and winemakers). Possible case study sites include Blenheim, Marlborough and/or Hawkes Bay region(s). Pastoral farming, and increasingly high-value viticulture, in these locations underpin the regional economy. Given their dependence on the local environment, they are highly sensitive to changes in mean climatic conditions, and other types of hazard events. Key objectives of the research will broadly focus on:

  1. Investigating social and economic dimensions of transformational adaptation in primary industries using case-study methods, to empirically assess the conditions in which transformational, non-marginal change is more or less likely to occur. 
  2. Working collaboratively across a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and stakeholders to co-produce insights and solutions to enhance rural resilience. Stakeholders may include other researchers and affiliated research programs, as well as industry (Beef+Lamb, Fonterra, DairyNZ, New Zealand Winegrowers and others), central government (particularly Ministry for Primary Industries), and local and regional government agencies, agribusiness, and community organisations including the Rural Support Trust.

The successful candidate will adopt a range of mixed methods, tools and approaches, which may include economic modelling and analysis, social network analysis, face-to-face interviews, focus group meetings, hui and surveys to develop an understanding of transformational adaptation in case study regions and selected industries.

Engagement and collaboration will be a key feature throughout the term of this thesis.  The successful candidate will form part of a cross-disciplinary co-creation team of scientists and practitioners, which includes five other PhD candidates.

It is anticipated that this research will begin as soon as an appropriate candidate has been identified, but no later than 1 July 2017.

Value and tenure

  • This scholarship includes a $25,000 stipend (tax free) plus full tuition costs (totalling $32,000 per annum for three years).
  • This project will span 2017-2019 (inclusive).
  • The recipient will be supervised by Dr. Joanna Fountain (Lincoln University), Dr Garry McDonald (Market Economics) and Dr Nick Cradock-Henry (Landcare Research).  An advisory group from the wider project team will also support the candidate. 


How to apply

Please provide a written statement outlining your interest and experience in the proposed area of research, along with a detailed CV and contact information for two academic referees.

Email your application to ruralresilience@landcareresearch.co.nz

We are motivated to identify a suitable candiate as soon as possible. For more information please contact Dr Joanna Fountain Joanna.Fountain@lincoln.ac.nz, Dr Garry McDonald garry@me.co.nz or Dr Nick Cradock-Henry cradockhenryn@landcareresearch.co.nz

 ______________________________________________________________

logo

Call for applications

Fully-funded 3-year Doctoral Scholarship

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (National Science Challenge)

University of Canterbury

Christchurch, New Zealand

 The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage and support doctoral research investigating rural resilience in New Zealand. This PhD research will form part of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges programme (National Science Challenge), across both the Rural Priority Co-Creation Laboratory and the Economics toolbox. Resilience to Nature’s Challenges is a ten-year programme of research focused on building New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards including slow and rapid onset events (e.g. earthquakes, wild fire, volcanoes, climate change, drought). For more information please visit https://resiliencechallenge.nz.

 The successful candidate will develop and apply an integrated, analytical framework for assessing resilience at multiple scales across rural value chains. It will showcase the economic consequences of resilience initiatives for agri- and/or tourism businesses under multi, cascading and creeping natural hazard events.  Specifically, the project will provide an economic value proposition for resilience initiatives through time and across space utilising RiskScape and “MERIT” models adapted to focus on rural communities and economies. Drawing on associated research, incentives and behaviour of economic agents toward resilience will be analysed, with particular focus on post-event recovery.  The project will be focused on the case-study region of Canterbury-West Coast, with its complex hazardscape, diverse rural communities and nationally significant infrastructure.

 We are looking for a candidate who would ideally have strong quantitative geospatial analytical skills – ideally with some programming experience.  A background in disaster risk reduction and/or behavioural economics would be useful but not necessarily essential.

 Engagement and collaboration will be a key feature throughout the term of this thesis.  The successful candidate will form part of a cross-disciplinary co-creation team of scientists and practitioners, which includes five other PhD candidates.

 It is anticipated that this research will begin as soon as an appropriate candidate has been identified, but no later than 30 April 2017.

 Value and tenure

  • This scholarship includes a NZ$25,000 stipend (tax free) plus full tuition costs (totalling ~$33,000 per annum for three years).
  • This project will span 2017-2019 (inclusive).
  • The recipient will be supervised by Assoc Prof Tom Wilson (UC), Dr Gary McDonald (Market Economics Ltd.), and Dr Nick Cradock-Henry (Landcare Research).  An advisory group from the wider project team, including the Riskscape programme (www.riskscape.org.nz) and ResOrgs (www.resorgs.org.nz), will also support the candidate.

 

How to apply

Please provide a written statement outlining your interest and experience in the proposed area of research, along with a detailed CV and contact information for two referees.

We are keen to progress this project as soon as possible, so please get in touch immediately if this is of interest. 

Email your application to: thomas.wilson@canterbury.ac.nz

 ______________________________________________________________________

Lincoln and RNC logos

 Call for applications:  PhD Scholarship in New Zealand, at Lincoln University: Creating and promoting the resilience of rural businesses (including tourism).

 This scholarship is to support a PhD student interested in research developing ways to increase the resilience of rural businesses to potentially disastrous events, with particular emphasis on the Kaikoura area.

 Many rural businesses have systems in place to address such hazardous events, but for isolated rural communities whose businesses involve high seasonal worker turnover the ability to be resilient in the face of slow or rapid onset events may face greater barriers. The expectation is that the research will provide a critical review of existing solutions and barriers to developing resilience in such situations and co-create resilience solutions with the business community themselves. A key criteria for success is that the solutions developed in the Kaikoura context are transferrable to other similar communities.

 This is a key project within the Rural Resilience Laboratory of the National Science Challenge – Resilience to Nature’s Challenges hosted by Lincoln University.  For more information please visit https://resiliencechallenge.nz

 Familiarity with action research, New Zealand rural businesses, isolated areas and seasonal workforces would be an advantage. This position is available for an immediate start.

Selection Criteria:

  • An Upper Honours degree or strong research Masters in an appropriate academic discipline.
  • A demonstrable interest in sustainable, resilient tourism or rural businesses
  • Expertise in systems analysis and both qualitative and quantitative analytical methods
  • An ability to engage with laypeople in the co-production of knowledge

 To apply please send full CV by email to the contact below – the CV must include details of academic qualifications and research experience, together with the names and email addresses of two referees.  A two page statement outlining your interest in this particular project and any initial thoughts you may have on how to conduct the research should be included.

Contacts:

Assoc. Prof Hamish Rennie,

Lincoln University,

Ph. +64 3 42-30437

Email: Hamish.Rennie@lincoln.ac.nz

 

___________________________________________________________________

19 October 2016 

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. 

Call for Scholarship applications

Scholarship logo header

 

3-year Doctoral Scholarship

Resilience to Nature’s Challenges (National Science Challenge)

Centre for Sustainability,

University of Otago

 The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage and support doctoral research investigating rural resilience in New Zealand. This PhD research will form part of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges programme (National Science Challenge), across both the Rural Priority Co-Creation Laboratory and the Cultural toolbox. Resilience to Nature’s Challenges is a ten-year programme of research focussed on building New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards including slow and rapid onset events (e.g. earthquakes, wild fire, volcanoes, climate change, drought). For more information please visit https://resiliencechallenge.nz.

 The successful candidate will undertake a case study approach in Canterbury in the South Island, a region heavily reliant on agribusiness and tourism activity as a foundation of the rural economy.   Key objectives of the research will broadly focus on:

  1. Investigating social norms of resilience in a rural Canterbury case study community. ‘Community’ is used inclusively to refer to residents, businesses and organisations, including Iwi.
  2. Working collaboratively in partnership with local stakeholders to co-create a suite of rural resilience solutions. Local stakeholders may include the Rural Support Trust, local government (including Civil Defence Emergency Management), the business community, and other community organisations.

 The successful candidate will adopt a range of mixed methods, tools and approaches, including face-to-face interviews, focus group meetings, hui and surveys to develop an understanding of social norms of resilience to natural hazards in the case study community.

 Engagement and collaboration will be a key feature throughout the term of this thesis.  The successful candidate will form part of a cross-disciplinary co-creation team of scientists and practitioners, which includes five other PhD candidates.

 It is anticipated that this research will begin as soon as an appropriate candidate has been identified, but no later than 1 March 2017.

 Value and tenure

  • This scholarship includes a $25,000 stipend (tax free) plus a tuition fee waiver of up to NZ$7,000 per annum for three years.
  • This project will span 2017-2019 (inclusive), beginning no later than 1 March 2017.
  • The recipient will be supervised by Dr. Caroline Orchiston at the University of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand), and co-supervised by other appropriate individuals once the topic has been confirmed.

 Applicant eligibility

This PhD scholarship is open to domestic and international candidates. Note international students are eligible to pay domestic fees if they are living in New Zealand with the appropriate student visa (for more information, http://www.otago.ac.nz/international/otago002190.html#phdfees).  

 It is a prerequisite that applicants have an Honours or Masters (with a research thesis component) qualification in a relevant discipline (interdisciplinarity is encouraged), including: geography, psychology, social science, earth science or sociology.

 The successful candidate will be enrolled fulltime at the University of Otago and reside in Dunedin, New Zealand for the tenure of the project.

 How to apply

Applicants should submit an email to Dr. Caroline Orchiston that includes:

  • A full curriculum vitae;
  • Academic transcript;
  • Contact details and supporting letters of two academics referees;
  • An example of your best written work (for example a section of coursework or thesis, or a published journal article);
  • One A4 page cover letter outlining your interest in the topic, and why you would like to be considered for this scholarship.

 The closing date for applications is November 15th 2016.

Please email your application to Dr. Caroline Orchiston (caroline.orchiston@otago.ac.nz). Contact Dr. Orchiston with any questions or queries about your eligibility for the scholarship.

 29 September 2016

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED 

PHD OPPORTUNITY

Developing New Approaches to Community Resilience Assessment:  Using technology, including web-based software, crowd-sourced data, & knowledge-based systems, as co-creative tools

Resilience across all sectors of society is imperative for global efforts to reduce the adverse effects of disasters and to build a society that is change-ready and seeking opportunities for future wellbeing. Building robust pathways toward resilience begins with assessment: gathering empirical evidence of what factors enhance resilience, under what contexts, and for which shocks; benchmarking a community’s capacities, and monitoring resilience over time. The Resilience Trajectories work stream of New Zealand’s Resilience to Nature’s Challenges research programme is interested in exploring innovative, socially engaged, technology-based solutions to robust resilience assessment.

Applications are now invited for those wishing to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by thesis addressing key challenges in the field of disaster resilience assessment, including:

  • How disaster resilience assessment can be made more accessible to communities; local, territorial, and regional authorities; and national decision makers, and
  • How technical tools, including web-based software, crowd sourced data, and/or knowledge-based systems, can be employed to make resilience assessment a robust and repeatable co-creative process.

The funding for this PhD Scholarship is part of the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges research programme (RNC) – Kia manawaroa Ngā Ākina o Te Ao Tūroa –a priority research area under the National Science Challenge (NSC) umbrella. RNC is a New Zealand-wide research programme, launched in July 2015, with the aim of achieving, “transformative resilience, discovering and implementing new research-based solutions for our society, culture, infrastructure and governance to address factors that will enable New Zealand to thrive in the face of nature’s challenges,” (Jolly 2014).

Within the RNC research programme, Dr. John Vargo and Dr. Joanne Stevenson from Resilient Organisations Ltd. are co-leading the Resilience Trajectories work stream. This work stream aims to guide disaster resilience benchmarking and monitoring across a range of systems (e.g., rural and urban communities, horizontal infrastructure, regional economies), and will help RNC stakeholders identify barriers and opportunities to accelerate progress toward a resilient New Zealand.

The Resilience Trajectories work stream is looking to engage a PhD student to develop and lead the learning frontier of this project. The successful applicant will explore options for co-creative resilience assessment, develop appropriate tool(s) (e.g., web-based software for gathering, integrating, and visualizing resilience measures, or tools for crowdsourcing relevant data) in collaboration with the Resilience to Nature’s Challenges researchers, and then prototype the tools ‘in the field’ with a case study community.

For more information about the scholarship and how to apply please visit: http://www.resorgs.org.nz/News/call-for-scholarship-applications-developing-new-approaches-to-community-resilience-assessment.html