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EQC renews commitment to GeoNet

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has increased its funding of GeoNet, which provides thousands of New Zealanders with information about earthquakes and other natural hazards.

EQC has been at the heart of GeoNet since it was first established 15 years ago as a collaboration between EQC and GNS Science. This will continue with EQC funding assured for another five years.

General Manager Reinsurance, Research and Education Dr Hugh Cowan says the funding will increase from $10 million baseline funding in 2015 to $11.6m in 2016, rising to $13.2m in 2021.

"The increased funding is needed to upgrade and develop systems to meet people's expectations of the service following the Canterbury earthquakes and the other natural disasters over the past five years," Dr Cowan says.

"GeoNet has had to prioritise meeting public demand and as a result there's now a need to address system development issues and replace equipment. The increase in funding means GeoNet will remain at the forefront of geological hazard monitoring and research, while future proofing it at the same time."

Dr Cowan says the daily data collected by GeoNet is used around the world to increase understanding of natural hazards and risk management.

"GeoNet's data is not just accessible to New Zealanders and a great way to increase public awareness and interest in natural hazards, it's a rich source of information for scientists, engineers and insurers.  Other countries look upon GeoNet and the data we have access to with envy."

The renewed commitment comes halfway through EQC's 10 year contract with GNS Science to deliver a best practice geological hazard monitoring network.

GeoNet is the official source of geological hazard information for New Zealand. Hazard updates are available in real time on earthquakes and volcanos at geonet.org.nz.

Key facts

  • EQC contributes over $16m worth of funding each year to high quality research that builds knowledge about New Zealand's natural hazards.
  • Our flagship investment is the geological hazard monitoring network GeoNet and we are its primary funder.
  • We also invest in building capability (we fund faculty positions and programmes at Victoria, Massey and Canterbury universities, provide grants to post graduate students, and offer a contestable grants programme of public good research to experienced researchers as well as awards) and the practical application of science through sponsorship, partnerships and funding projects.
  • GeoNet was launched in 2001 as a collaboration between EQC as the major funder and GNS Science as the technical manager and custodian.  
  • GeoNet has sensor instruments in 600 locations around New Zealand and offshore, and receives 8Gb of data every day from its network of remote sensors.
  • There have been 200,000 downloads of GeoNet's app since the app was launched three years ago.

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