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AF8 advances coordinated response planning


Coordinated response planning for the next Alpine Fault earthquake continues in Nelson this Wednesday 23rd October at a forum hosted by AF8 [Alpine Fault magnitude 8].

The AF8 SAFER (South Island Alpine Fault Earthquake Response) Forum brings scientists, Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups, their partner agencies and stakeholders together again to share their work using the SAFER Framework, which was published in October 2018.

The SAFER Framework represents the culmination of two years of collaboration and kōrero between researchers, organisations, agencies and community groups. It provides a concept of coordination aimed at improving knowledge of, readiness for and a collective resilience to a magnitude 8 earthquake on the Alpine Fault – https://af8.org.nz/safer-framework/

The SAFER Forum includes: presentations on work to date from the New Zealand Transport Agency, New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service and the Ministry of Social Development; presentations from AF8’s science partners, including potential impacts to lifelines and infrastructure; an update from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT); and, response planning examples from across the six South Island CDEM Groups.

The event concludes with updates from AF8’s alliance partners: the Hikurangi Response Planning project and the National Earthquake Framework.

A full agenda is available here: https://af8.org.nz/safer-forum/

AF8 Chairperson, Angus McKay says: “The Forum enables these essential discussions and our collaborative approach to response planning to continue, ensuring we will have a coordinated response to any future event.

“Following an AF8 earthquake our communication networks will be particularly tested and it is critical we have these conversations, coordinate our planning and continue to build inter-agency relationships in advance. How we respond in the first seven days sets the foundation for the longer-term recovery and it’s vital we are able to work together from the get-go.

“Being prepared for an AF8 earthquake is being prepared for any large-scale natural hazard event and we are thrilled that so many of our partners are keen to participate in the Forum.”

The AF8 SAFER Forum is part of an ongoing series of activities to continue conversations and knowledge sharing around large natural hazard events like an Alpine Fault earthquake, ensuring that communities and agencies are collectively better prepared.

An AF8 Science Talk for the general public is also being held on the Wednesday evening from 7pm at Old St John’s on Hardy Street, featuring leading Alpine Fault scientists: Dr. Caroline Orchiston (AF8 Science-Lead / University of Otago), Dr. Rob Langridge (Senior Scientist, GNS Science) and Associate Prof. Liam Wotherspoon (University of Auckland) – https://af8.org.nz/public-science-talk-nelson/

The AF8 exercise programme begins next month, with the six South Island CDEM Groups testing parts of the SAFER Framework in their exercise: Rū Whenua Whakariterite on the 22nd November – https://af8.org.nz/ru-whenua-whakariterite/. A national AF8 exercise is planned for September 2020.


AF8 [Alpine Fault magnitude 8] is a collaboration between the six South Island’s CDEM Groups, their partner agencies, stakeholders and scientists. It commenced in July 2016, and is led by Emergency Management Southland on behalf of the South Island CDEM groups.

The award-winning programme aims to share the Alpine Fault hazard and impact science and preparedness information widely, through outreach and engagement activities, to increase awareness, enable conversation and build societal preparedness to natural hazard events in the South Island.

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