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National Geohazards Monitoring Centre goes live

A new purpose-built facility hosted by GNS Science is providing enhanced around-the-clock monitoring of major geological hazards to help keep New Zealanders safe.

Geohazards analysts in the NGMC. Photo: Margaret Low

Geohazards Analysts provide around-the-clock "eyes on" monitoring. Photo: Margaret Low

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“Kiwis can now feel reassured that there will be experts keeping an eye on our geological hazards every minute of every day.”

Hon Kris Faafoi, former Minister of Civil Defence

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The National Geohazards Monitoring Centre Te Puna Mōrearea i te Rū was blessed in a dawn ceremony by Te Atiawa and opened by Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods and Civil Defence Minister Hon Kris Faafoi in December 2018. 

The Centre is staffed 24/7 to provide timely advice and intelligence about hazard events to decision-makers in natural hazard management response agencies. It covers four types of hazards — tsunami, earthquake, volcano and landslide — and is, we believe, the first centre in the world to monitor all these geological hazards together. 

When a serious event happens, every second counts, meaning the work of the Centre could potentially save lives. Previously we relied on automated messages to on-call staff. Being onsite all the time allows our staff to immediately assess events as soon as they begin, improving awareness of what is happening and response times. 

The service builds on decades of work we have done with the Earthquake Commission and Land Information New Zealand. 

The Centre is funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Strategic Science Investment Fund and was built with support from the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the Earthquake Commission and Land Information New Zealand. It is located on our campus in Lower Hutt but designed to be resilient, with a back-up facility at our Wairakei site and at GeoScience Australia.