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Emergency management research
Community hazards education and planning
We specialise in participatory methods and risk perception research, and the development of scenarios and training tools around volcanic eruptions.
Disaster risk and science communication
Disaster risk and science communication is the communication of science advice for individual and organisational decision-making during natural hazard events. Our projects include the communication of probability forecasts, communication of uncertain science advice, the use of hypothetical scenarios to explore effective communication, and the public response to aftershock information.
Hazard awareness and education
We measure community understanding of, and preparedness for, natural hazards including volcanic eruptions. We specialise in participatory methods and risk perception research. Our results are used to develop scenarios, training tools and educational strategies for groups including communities, businesses and schools.
Health and safety of buildings
Our research is investigating passive preventative systems which are part of the structure of a building. For instance how buildings can be designed to help prevent the spread of fire, indoor air quality and building resistance to earthquakes.
Māori and Indigenous risk reduction and disaster management
The Indigenous Disaster Risk Management team engages with Māori communities and other Indigenous peoples to explore the role culture plays in facilitating disaster preparedness, risk mitigation, emergency management, disaster recovery and community resilience in the context of humanitarian, health and natural hazard events.
Planning and policy
Resources for planners to achieve risk reduction, using hazard research by GNS Science, NIWA and other collaborators. Our resources help planners make effective land-use planning decisions where natural hazards can have an impact. Projects include writing national guidelines, frameworks for pre-event recovery planning, and promoting the integration of land-use planning with emergency management.
Psychosocial support after disasters
Research into the psychosocial impact of disasters on health care and social welfare professionals. We advise agencies including the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health.
Social networking tools
We specialise in the use and impact of social networking tools in a disaster context. Our team focuses on people's interactions with information and communication technologies, and how this can contribute to a resilient culture. Our key area is public information-seeking activities and the self-organising capabilities of disaster-affected communities.
Social work in disaster/emergency management
Disaster/emergency management is focused on creating frameworks that can reduce the community’s vulnerability to hazards and support them in coping with emergencies. Our research examines how social workers have been effective contributors in times of disaster/emergency in New Zealand and the importance of strengthening interprofessional relationships to advance current policy and practice.
Understanding community resilience
We develop tools and guidelines to empower communities to become resilient to natural hazard events. Our research focuses on understanding the factors that enable a community to withstand the consequences of natural hazards. We also research local, regional and national factors that influence communities.
Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
Search for an expert
Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.
Accountability and governance in managing disasters
Collaborative research with the University of Essex. Our focus is on accountability during natural disasters and how it is set up when joint work is carried out by the government, non-governmental institutions and the business sector.
End-to-end linkage structure for integrated impact assessment of infrastructure networks under natural hazards
We are researching a structural framework that can link various assessment models. These are used in the assessment of infrastructure network performance due to natural hazards. We aim to create a better framework for the assessment of impacts. Funded by QuakeCore.
A Core Research Programme funded by and in collaboration with GNS Science. The project has funded a co-supervised PhD research project to explore interdependency of critical infrastructure.
Technologies supporting emergencies
Collaborative research into the public sector with Loughborough University's Emergency Management Research Interest Group. Our focus is on technological and societal responses to emergency management, and building resilient societies. We are investigating the use of the Internet of Things to support fire emergency response.
Understanding factors that build iwi resilience
National Hazards Research Platform-funded project (2012-2015) conducted in partnership with Ngāi Tahu. Subsequent funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has extended the project to identify and document cultural attributes that enhanced Māori community recovery in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes.
Wellington City Council's 'Resilient Wellington' initiative
Our staff are making the city more resilient by supporting Wellington City Council's Resilient Wellington initiative to make people connected, empowered and knowledgeable about resilience, and make our homes and environments healthy and robust.
Meet our graduates
Ian de Terte
Ian's research expertise is in psychological resilience, PTSD/trauma, and high-risk occupations.
Karlene’s research focuses on investigating current emergency preparedness and response activities, as well as emergency management expectations in New Zealand schools.
Sara specialises in critical analysis of communication for natural disasters. Her work focuses on how we can improve communication of hazards and risks to improve preparedness outcomes for better emergency response and recovery.
Tom’s research is investigating how a disaster resilience strategy could be developed by using a diagram that links resilience-related activities with relevant objectives, impacts and performance indicators.
International Centre of Excellence in Community Resilience
The Integrated Research on Disaster Risk International Centre of Excellence in Community Resilience aims to discover how a community makes itself resilient to disasters.
Joint Centre for Disaster Research
The Joint Centre for Disaster Research is an international centre for research and teaching in disaster risk and emergency management. It is a joint venture between Massey University School of Psychology and GNS Science.