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Meet the Risk Reduction and Resilience team

The Toka Tū Ake EQC Risk Reduction and Resilience team is led by Sarah-Jayne McCurrach. The team leverages the research and data Toka Tū Ake EQC funds to advocate, influence and where possible implement the reduction of natural hazard damage.

You can reach the team by emailing or read the team bios below for more information about their expertise and how you can contact them.

Sarah-Jayne McCurrach

Manager Risk Reduction and Resilience


Sarah-Jayne came to Toka Tū Ake EQC after successfully leading numerous national-level projects and programmes of work to improve hazard risk management decisions and outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.

Sarah-Jayne has a passion for building strong, knowledge-aware communities regarding hazard and risk, so everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand is empowered to make their own choices regarding the risks they face. She also has Chair roles within UNESCO’s Pacific Tsunami Warning System and is supporting the organisation of the seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2022.

Dr Wendy Saunders

Principal Advisor Risk Reduction and Resilience


Wendy is Toka Tū Ake EQC’s land use planning specialist. Following her PhD on risk-based land use planning, she has worked with councils to develop and implement their risk-based planning policies, and on the science side at GNS Science.

At Toka Tū Ake EQC, she leads the Smarter Land Use plan with a full focus on how land use planning can reduce natural hazard risk.

Dr Warren Gray

Principal Advisor Risk Reduction and Resilience


Warren is a meteorology and climate change specialist.

Warren trained as weather forecaster before studying meteorology in the UK. He returned to work for NIWA in weather hazards, and for the Ministry for the Environment in climate science. Warren has also had secondments to Stats NZ, MPI and LINZ.

At Toka Tū Ake EQC, he leads the programme around the development of the Risk and Resilience Portal.

Dr Alistair Davies

Senior Advisor Risk Reduction and Resilience


Ali started out studying geography at the University of Cambridge. He worked in a flood risk consultancy in the United Kingdom, before coming to Aotearoa New Zealand to do his Toka Tū Ake EQC-funded PhD on disaster risk and resilience at the University of Canterbury. He then moved to the National
Emergency Management Agency before joining Toka Tū Ake EQC. Ali is leading the development of Toka Tū Ake EQC’s internal climate change adaptation plan, alongside work on the National Hazard Scenario Database and submissions on government policy.

Caleb Dunne

Advisor Risk Reduction and Resilience

CD Headshot Jan 2021

Caleb is a licensed professional engineer from California. After some years practising structural engineering, a passion for risk reduction led him to Aotearoa New Zealand, where he thought people might know a few things about disasters. He completed a Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience and postgraduate studies in earthquake engineering at the University of Canterbury. He is currently developing Toka Tū Ake EQC’s “Resilient Homes and Buildings Action Plan”.