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

 

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Women's Affairs: Government Accepts Recommendations On Pay Equity

The Government will update the Equal Pay Act and amend the Employment Relations Act to implement recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Increase In Seasonal Workers For RSE

The current cap will be increased by 1,000 from 9,500 to 10,500 RSE workers for the 2016-17 season. Mr Woodhouse says the horticulture and viticulture industry is New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry, producing almost $5 billion in exports. More>>

ALSO:

Hurunui: Crown Irrigation Invests Up To $3.4m In North Canterbury

Crown Irrigation Investments will invest up to $3.4m in the Hurunui Water Project, an irrigation scheme that will be capable of irrigating up to 21,000 hectares on the south side of the Hurunui River in North Canterbury. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Great:Butterfly Eradication Success

The invasive pest great white butterfly has been eradicated from New Zealand in a world-first achievement, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Tax Cuts Fixation

Long before the earthquake hit, the dodginess of the government tax cuts programnme was evident in the language of its packaging. It is being touted as a “tax cuts and family care” package... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news