The Auckland Branch kicked off the year with an online presentation by Dr. Robert Pyke from California on the Limitations of Simplified Methods for Estimating Seismic Settlements. The event was attended by more than 200 members. Yet another lockdown ensued in March, and our first in-person event for 2021 had to be delivered online. Dougal, Kyle and Julie from GNS presented on the fantastic work GNS has been doing on updating the geology of South Auckland.
The Branch is currently busy organising a number of in person and online events for the remainder of 2021 – these will include both NZ and international speakers. Although not an Auckland Branch organised event, a recent highlight was the exaugural lecture by Professor Michael J. Pender, which was keenly attended by a large audience that filled the room and networked before and after the talk. It was great to see so many geotechnical professionals coming together to celebrate the career of one of NZ’s best geotechnical minds, and to recognise the influence that Mick has had on so many people’s careers.
Ben & Jay would also like to welcome ex-Hawkes Bay Branch coordinator Sirini De Silva to the Auckland team, who will assist with organising and running events. If you would like to present to the Branch or have a specific topic you’d like to see covered, please touch base with the team.
Big changes afoot in the Hamilton branch – both Andrew Holland and Kori Lentfer are stepping down as branch coordinators after 10 and 12 years in the role respectively! Kori initially looked after both Waikato and BoP (from 2009) but when he moved to the Waikato in 2011, the branches split back into separate Waikato and BoP branches, with Kori taking over the Waikato branch, initially with Ken Read and then from late 2011 with Andrew Holland. Along with a number of local technical presentations on local ground conditions and projects, they have organised visits to various projects including the Te Uku windfarm, the Karapiro Gully Viaduct and the upgrades at the Waikato Hospital to name but a few. We would like to thank them both for all their endeavours over the last decade (and a bit) and to wish their successors all the best. As their successors work in the same offices as both Kori and Andrew, we’re sure their collective wisdom will be around for a while longer!
Bay of Plenty branch
Tauranga branch has a few events in the pipeline. We hope that some of our local members were able to enjoy the NZGS 2021 conference in Dunedin in March. We have arranged for the NZGS Geomechanics Award paper to be presented by Mark Stringer in late May. There have been and continue to be a number of very good online presentations and locally Engineering NZ site visits or presentations which have included large portions of geotechnical / geological work. If members have ideas on presentations or would like to contribute a presentation please get in touch with James or Kim.
Hawkes Bay branch
“Hawkes Bay partnered up with the Engineering NZ Branch for a site visit to a local Large Dam site currently under construction. The site was remote, it was evening and it was raining – so we were pleased to see a combined turn out of a dozen people. It was great to interact with other disciplines, including quantity surveyors, water, civil & transport engineers.”
The Wellington branch is pleased to announce that the 2nd Wellington YGP Symposium will take place on 21 July 2021. More details will be sending out in NZGS newsletters.
Recently the Wellington branch is looking at organising joint presentations or panel discussions with seismologists and structural engineers to promote collaboration between different disciplines.
The Nelson region has had a slow start to the year in terms of functions. A few members attended the Symposium last month and there was a couple of engineering NZ events including a maritime simulator experience and winery building tour and tasting. The new Nelson Tasman Geological map has been released giving an updated model of the region with the previous mapping dated 1987.
We are always looking for more discussion group, function and presentation ideas so get in touch if you are keen!
The Christchurch branch were involved in a series of ‘lessons learnt’ presentations commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake.
Looking forward we are excited to host a presentation by Mark Stringer covering his paper ‘Separation of pumice from soil mixtures’, which was recently awarded the JW Ridley Geomechanics Paper Award at the NZGS symposium. This was initially planned for mid-May however has been postponed to a later, yet to be confirmed, date. We will also be hosting a YGP symposium in early June and have had a good response from our YGP members.
We have a few talks in the pipeline however are keen to hear from anyone who would be keen to give a presentation, or has an idea for one.
We kicked off our year with a really interesting presentation from Phil Glassey (GNS, Dunedin) about his work on updating the geological model for South Dunedin, as part of a wider body of work aiming to address the flooding issues in South Dunedin. Coming up in the near future, we are working on organising a talk about rockfall protection. Further out, we’re planning to organise some more interesting talks for our local members. And, of course, we thoroughly enjoyed having so many of our colleagues from around the country in Dunedin for the symposium in March