Passive Rockfall Protection Structures In NZ Christchurch and Kaikoura

An overview of the types of structures used for rockfall protection constructed away from source. These includes ETAG27 certified dynamic fences, hybrid or attenuator fences and GTM reinforced soil bund.

Case studies in Christhchurch and Kaikoura. This talk will take you through an overview of rockfall protection problems and the general considerations when it comes to available solutions and approaches. Passive protection structures are very cost effective and technically feasible solutions especially when the problems are large scale and complex morphology in nature. The three main types of passive protection structures recommended in the NZ MBIE published guide. Project case studies in NZ especially around Christchurch and Kaikoura will also be showcased.

NZGS Dunedin Presentation and Social Event

Presented by James Molloy

James Molloy will give a brief Presentation on some of his more interesting work in the Otago area.


Following on from James Molloy’s Presentation, as we were all looking forward to our colleagues from around the country coming to visit in mid-October that has been interrupted by Covid-19,   it seems an opportune time for the local geotechnical community (and any other interested parties) to get together for a couple drinks, some networking and a catch up.


Please join us at Terra MDC’s office at 82 Bond Street on the evening of Thursday 15th October. We look forward to seeing you all there.


*A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, along with nibbles will be provided


Kindly sponsored by

Terra MDC

Building Compliance Technical Forum

Presented by Christchurch City Council, Engineering Services Team, Consenting and Compliance Unit

Geotechnical engineers, structural engineers and their associates are invited to a technical forum on regulatory compliance with clause B1 of the New Zealand Building Code. Speakers from the Christchurch City Council’s regulatory unit will present on updates to geotechnical guidance, structural materials, quality assurance, acceptance of producer statements/peer reviews and changes to building work exempt from building consent.

A question and answer session will be held after the presentation. Please submit questions via this google sheet on or before Monday 19th October.   HERE

To help us in planning for this event, please register to attend using the following link: HERE


Redi-Rock Retaining Systems

Presented by David  Hepburn

Business Development Manager


This is an introduction to Redi-Rock retaining systems which are now being supplied in NZ for land development and infrastructure applications.  David Hepburn of Duracrete Products will provide an introduction to the suite of design resources and free software analysis for geotech engineers. Some case studies of local and recent projects in NZ will be featured. The challenges of the applications and the variety of solutions for them will be highlighted. Feedback from clients, contractors and geotech engineers who have used it will shared.

Double Presentation: An earthquake-induced landslide forecasting tool, and its application in Hawke’s Bay & GNS Science Urban Geological Mapping Project – Napier-Hastings

An earthquake-induced landslide forecasting tool, and its application in Hawke’s Bay

(Chris Massey)

GNS Science has developed an earthquake-induced landslide (EIL) forecasting tool, initially using the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake landslide dataset, but subsequently working in other EIL datasets (e.g. 1929 Murchison and 1968 Inangahua). The tool has been applied in Hawke’s Bay to understand the local rockfall hazard to tsunami evacuation paths on Bluff Hill, and where the regional landslide hazards are so this can be assessed against existing and planned asset development. The talk will cover off the development of the tool, its application in Hawke’s Bay, and its current limitations.


GNS Science Urban Geological Mapping Project – Napier-Hastings

(Julie Lee)


An updated geological map has been completed for the Napier-Hastings urban areas and a geomorphological map and subsurface 3D model will soon be released as part of a nationwide project that is mapping urban areas in New Zealand. 3D software and LiDAR data has enabled us to improve differentiation of Holocene units that form the Heretaunga Plains.  This presentation will describe these products and the results.


HBRC Council Chambers

Back Entry, Vautier Street

Refreshments 5.30pm

Presentations 6.00pm

*Doors will be locked at 6pm for security and entry is not possible after this time.



The Southern Alps of New Zealand: An Integrated Picture of an Evolving Plate Boundary

Presented by Phaedra Upton, Senior Scientist, Geodynamics Team Leader, GNS Science

The Southern Alps of New Zealand – An integrated picture of an evolving plate boundary

The central South Island has long been a favourite site to study and model oblique continental collision, because the orogen is young, narrow, and a single structure, the Alpine Fault, takes up >70% of relative plate motion. The orogen is highly asymmetric and varies along strike as the nature of the two colliding plates change along the boundary. I will explore the 3D structure and kinematics of the orogen, and discuss how regional deep-seated tectonic processes of mountain building are geodynamically interconnected with climate, landscape, and near-surface geological processes that create local fluid flow, effective stress, and temperature anomalies.

Geophysical Investigation Introduction for Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering Applications.

Presented by Eva Sutter

Ground  investigations are there to make sure the ground we build on is suitable for the structure anticipated. Traditionally, this is assessed with common geotechnical tools such as machine boreholes, CPT’s, hand auger or scala testing. While these are great tools to get an accurate understanding of the ground properties at one single location per test, often an area-wide overview of geological, geotechnical and environmental property variations in the underground would be valuable to get a comprehensive image of a site and site performance. This is where geophysical methods have a huge advantage and are used with great benefit to a project in terms of risk reduction, as well as cost and time saving. The talk will provide an overview of the benefits arising from using geophysical investigations, the basic geophysical principles and present a few applications to projects around New Zealand.


Eva is a Geophysicist with 4 years’ experience in the geophysical consulting industry in Switzerland, Germany and New Zealand. She specialises in near-surface exploration techniques for applications in the engineering and environmental sectors. She has also more than 4 years of experience in geophysical research & development. With her strong can-do attitude towards difficult projects she is always keen to find a solution to solve even complex underground problems to help her clients reduce project risks, save money and time. Eva is a member of the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS), NZGS and holds a PhD and MSc in Applied Geophysics.

Shrink/Swell Testing of Expansive (Reactive) Soils – A Critical Analysis

Our Auckland Branch has been busy preparing a live Presentation on Tuesday 21st April (Tomorrow) at 3pm.  This will be a live presentation available  to all members.

Click on the link below, if you do not use Teams you can still view the presentation on a web browser.  This will also be the link you can watch the Presentation at 3pm on Tuesday.

  • Register here
  • Join online (MS Teams) here

Thank you to the Auckland Branch Co-ordinators for their hard work in putting this together, Presenter Nick Rogers for agreeing to stream to all members and for Engineering New Zealand’s help in opening up the live stream service to ensure every member has the ability to join the Presentation.

[EVENT CANCELLED!] Agents of change for resilient infrastructure – public lecture by Tom O’Rourke


Kia Ora Koutou,

We regret that in light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have taken the decision to cancel Professor Tom O’Rourke’s lecture tomorrow evening.

I would like to extend my thanks to Tom for his willingness to give a seminar to us here in New Zealand.

Once the situation has settled down, we will try to see if it is possible to re-organise this seminar and in that case we will re-advertise the talk.

Best wishes and thank you for your understanding,

Mark Stringer


The effects of hurricanes with respect to infrastructure resilience are reviewed with reference to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. The effects of Hurricane Sandy on New York City and subsequent programs to improve the City’s infrastructure are described. Special attention is focused on the restoration of the L Line Tunnel, which was flooded by Hurricane Sandy. Professor O’Rourke will describe how a team from Cornell and Columbia Universities was assembled at the request of Governor Andrew Cuomo to help re-engineer a $1/2 billion project to rehabilitate the tunnel, and still keep the subway in service. The new approach integrates several advanced technologies, including distributed fiber optics and LiDAR, and makes a breakthrough in infrastructure restoration resulting from interdisciplinary work between civil and electrical engineers. He will also describe recent advances in earthquake resilience for the regional water supply for Southern California. The agents of change that lead to improved policies and approaches are explored, including the technical, institutional, and social challenges of introducing new technologies and engaging community support.


Tom O’Rourke is the Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, Distinguished Member of ASCE, International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Member of the Mexican Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He authored or co-authored over 400 technical publications, and has received numerous awards for his research. His research interests cover geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering, underground construction technologies, engineering for large, geographically distributed systems, and geographic information technologies and database management.

Live Link Zoom:



We’re expecting to get pretty high numbers, so can you please book your seat through the Eventbrite page (link above).