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Community-led tsunami risk reduction on the Chatham Islands


This research uses a community-led approach to reduce tsunami impacts across the Chatham Islands. The islands could be isolated from external assistance following a tsunami, and the performance of key services and on-island capacity to restore services may have considerable influence on response and recovery.

The research involved: a) improving the understanding of the Chatham Islands' tsunami hazard by investigating past tsunami impacts and inundation extents in documented accounts and Tangata Whenua knowledge/oral history, b) assessing potential impacts on societal assets, in particular infrastructure, to form a credible high-impact tsunami scenario, and c) sharing this information in workshops with the Chatham Islands community and using participatory tools to co-develop actions to reduce future tsunami impact.


Emergency management relevance

This research examines the Chatham Islands' tsunami risk and how community participation can be incorporated into tsunami readiness, response planning and exercising.


Additional information

Authors: Kristie-Lee Thomas

Date: 2018

Funders: Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Toka Tū Ake EQC, Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment’s National Science Challenge: Resilience to Nature's Challenges, Mason Trust Fund

Format: Master of Science thesis - University of Canterbury

Reference: Thomas, K. (2018). Research to inform community-led action to reduce tsunami impact, Wharekauri-Rekohu-Chatham Islands, Aotearoa-New Zealand: A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Disaster Risk and Resilience, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand