Branch reports

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Published 16 December 2017
Branch reports


Auckland has been treated to a continued series of exciting talks this year. John Begg, a geologist from GNS, spoke on the urban mapping project which will see more detailed geological maps produced for the area. An exciting prospect which drew great interest. Bruce Hayward, both a geologist and a marine ecologist, presented on the topic of his new book Out of the Ocean into the Fire: Geology of Auckland, Northland and Coromandel Peninsula. If you would like a copy it is now out in book stores. Professor Nicolas Sitar from the University of California, currently in New Zealand on sabbatical, kindly spoke on the seismic performance of slopes and design of retaining structures. A very clear and useful talk for practitioners. Nick Wharmby of March Construction treated a lucky group to see the diaphragm walling going on in the Chief Post Office building down at Britomart. This work is part of the City Rail Link project. Thanks to Nick for organising access to this site. In New Zealand for the NZGS symposium, Ruth Allington, joint senior partner of GWP Consultants LLP, spoke of the importance of engineering geology and geotechnics in the design, operation and rehabilitation of quarries. Also in New Zealand for the symposium, Professor John Atkinson presented his Burland Lecture on basic geotechnical engineering skills – what can graduates do?

The Auckland Branch has a new face, Chris Wright, a geotechnical engineer at Riley Consultants on the North Shore. Welcome Chris.

Many thanks to Geotechnics, Tonkin + Taylor, Geofabrics, Ground Investigations and Beca for supporting our talks this year.

Above: Great turn out in Wellington for Russ van Dissen’s talk on the complex fault rupture mechanism for the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, hosted by Opus


The Wellington branch has been pleased to host two talks in August and September. The first by Russ van Dissen from GNS focussing on the complex multi-fault rupture system of the Kaikōura earthquake. This event was well attend by around 50 people. Russ’ engaging presentation style made the talk accessible to all. Thanks to Opus for hosting and providing refreshments.
In September we had the honour of hosting Dr. Connor Hayden from the University of Auckland for a joint NZGS, NZSEE and SESOC presentation. His talk looked at liquefaction induced building performance, focusing on a series of centrifuge tests on both isolated and adjacent structures. His findings have implications for both geotechnical and structural engineers and generated some good discussion among the participants. Thanks to Griffiths Drilling and Geotechnics for sponsoring the catering, and thanks to Victoria University School of Architecture for hosting us.

In November Ruth Allington will include Wellington in her tour of talks on Quarry design. Coming up we are also planning a panel discussion and field trip for early next year.

It was also a privilege for Tonkin + Taylor to host Prof. Ishihara, Prof. Hamada, Prof. Nishimura and Prof. Cubrinovski at their Wellington office on 22 August 2017.

Pro. Ishihara and Prof. Hamada kindly offered a lunch time presentation to NZGS Wellington members. Approximately 50 members attended this event.


Things have been really quite on NZGS Canterbury front this last half of 2017. We have been fortunate enough to host Ruth Allington’s tour The Importance of Engineering Geology and Geotechnics in the Design, Operation and Rehabilitation of Quarries.
Unfortunately, we only had a small turn out of approximately 16 people for this Presentation.

If you have any Presentations/site visits you would like to see in the Canterbury area please contact your Branch Reps Sam or Jennifer.

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Issue 94
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ISSN 0111-6851