Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Make NZ cities disaster resilient now, UC geologist says

Make NZ cities disaster resilient now, UC geologist says

February 21, 2013

New Zealand cities must capitalise on Christchurch's earthquake experience if they are to make themselves more resilient to natural disasters, University of Canterbury (UC) geologist Dr Mark Quigley said today.

Speaking at the Royal Society in Wellington last night as part of the National Library's Big Data discussion series, Dr Quigley said the post-disaster awareness bubble created by the earthquakes was shrinking.

He said costly mistakes such as the development of flood and liquefaction prone parts of eastern Christchurch in the 1990s and early 2000s were examples of 'what could continue' if the public did not seek a deeper understanding of the Christchurch experience.

``If councils yield to developers and allow vulnerable land to be zoned and built upon and insurance companies are willing to come to the party then people will buy there, regardless of the risk.

``This is a major psychological and financial risk that people take, commonly because the consequences of relatively infrequent but potentially catastrophic events are not really thought about.’’

Dr Quigley called on New Zealanders to move from a generalised awareness that natural disasters such as earthquakes occur to a more specific understanding of how such events could impact on them personally and financially.

``We all know about earthquakes, but is it possible that we could get a rock fall event in our backyard that could bury our house? Is our home or workplace up to the building code? How vulnerable are our buried lifelines? Will we be without sewerage, water, power and internet for weeks after an earthquake, such as many people in eastern Christchurch went through?"

Dr Quigley said parts of Wellington and Lower Hutt were areas where extensive liquefaction could be expected to sever buried lifelines in an earthquake.

He urged ``everyday people’’ to pressure authorities to act proactively to deal with these issues before earthquakes, rather than after.

Research suggested the cost of strengthening buildings before a major event is less expensive then demolishing and rebuilding after it. He said proactive lifeline remediation and protection, stricter building code enforcement and careful land use planning were important components of increasing resilience before earthquakes.

``The inconvenience and expense of fixing our Victorian sewers in liquefaction prone areas now, for instance, pales in comparison to the personal, financial, health and environmental costs of waiting for the disaster to eventuate.’’

Dr Quigley will deliver a keynote address at the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand conference in Christchurch today.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Quotas: MPI Swoop On Suspected Fraudulent Fishing Activity

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers swooped on a Hawkes Bay fishing enterprise today to secure evidence in an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity... “The investigation involves activity throughout the commercial supply chain – catching, landing, processing and exporting.” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news