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The resilience of the NZ built environment to natural hazards has historically focused on the robustness of individual physical assets (individual buildings, bridges etc), with less emphasis on an understanding of the dependencies between individual assets, as well as the performance of spatially-distributed infrastructure networks. The resilience of lifeline networks (electric power, transportation, telecommunications (ICT), potable water, stormwater/wastewater, and liquefied/gas fuels) and other distributed infrastructure (flood control networks) play a critical role in the ability of society to rapidly recover after a major disaster.

The research in this flagship will be directed toward developing tools to assess the performance of spatially-distributed infrastructure networks subject to extreme natural hazards. This research is funded under the Resilience to Nature's Challenges National Science Challenge ( and therefore has a focus on a range of extreme natural hazards along with earthquakes. Working closely with relevant stakeholders we will develop methodologies to quantify system-level performance of nationally critical infrastructure when subject to natural hazards and cascading impacts, leading to improved resilience of communities through identification of multi-hazard related vulnerabilities in infrastructure critical for NZ society. Critical infrastructure asset owners do not currently have methods to fully quantify resilience of key components and trickle-down impacts of their disruption due to natural hazards. Nor are there consistent methods to measure and monitor infrastructure resilience within or across infrastructure types, organisations, or investment criteria to assess the merits of different options to improve resilience.

System-level resilience methodology outputs will be based on local (or component) level quantification of vulnerabilities, and mechanistic models for the interactions between the components of the network system. Uncertainties in such analyses can be significant, and the developed models and their implementation will utilize the most recent concepts of explicit uncertainty quantification; spatial correlation of uncertainties in demand, capacity and post-disaster response; stochastic event sets for efficiently considering numerous probabilistic scenarios; and low-rank methods for sensitivity analysis.


Our goal is to develop an improved understanding of the resilience of spatially-distributed infrastructure networks to extreme natural hazards through new methodologies and application to New Zealand-specific critical infrastructure.  In the face of New Zealand’s unique natural hazard environment, and based on engineering science evidence, this flagship will enable New Zealanders to anticipate critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, and protect and transform the built environment to support thriving communities. The impact of this Flagship will result from the robust quantification of infrastructure network resilience, and importantly, explicit insight into optimization of pre-disaster mitigation and post-disaster targeted repair strategies which will minimize the consequences of infrastructure network in-operability.

Current Projects


Current Project Summary Matrix


Direct Funding

  • Developing tsunami vulnerability functions and functionality/repair time models for critical infrastructure (Williams - UC, Hughes - UC, Wilson - UC, Horspool - UA, Lane - NIWA, Davies - UC)
  • Electricity Network Assessment during Alpine Fault Event (Shirzadi - UA, Nair - UA, Liu - UA)
  • Effective Restoration Practices and Improvement of electricity/communication nexus infrastructure following extreme natural hazards (Maina - UA, Nair - UA, Liu - UA)
  • Modelling the hazard footprint and consequences of lava flows in an urban environment (Tsang - UA, Lindsay - UA, Coco - UA, Wilson - UC, Kennedi - UA, Deligne - GNS)
  • Volcanic ash impacts on surface transportation (Blake - UC, Wilson - UC, Deligne - GNS, Linsday - UA, Cole - UC)
  • Clean-up and restoration of urban environments after volcanic eruptions (Hayes - UC, Wilson - UC, Leonard - GNS, Deligne - GNS, Cole - UC)
  • Flood vunerability models for infrastructure assets (Crowley - NIWA, Paulik - NIWA)
  • Water supply system resilience measurement (Balaei - UA, Wilkinson - UA)
  • Tsunami loading on New Zealand bridges (Farvizi - UA, Melville - UA)
  • Tsunami loading and performance of New Zealand wharves (Popovich - UA, Wotherspoon - UA, Shamseldin - UA)
  • Seismic response of New Zealand wharves (Ragued - UA, Wotherspoon - UA)


Monthly Meetings and Workshops

Related Efforts

Other Meetings

Other Presentations 

Requests for Proposals



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