News bites: Gondola reopening delayed, EQC funds natural hazard research


The gondola provides spectacular views of Christchurch and easy access into the Port Hills.

Stuff

The gondola provides spectacular views of Christchurch and easy access into the Port Hills.

Strong winds have delayed the reopening of the Christchurch Gondola by two days.

The service was scheduled to reopen on Wednesday for the first time since the level 4 lockdown, but will now open on Friday.

Winds forecasted for Wednesday and Thursday exceeded the gondola’s safe operating levels and meant that it could not operate, the company said in a release.

The Christchurch Gondola will be open between 10am and 4pm daily with the last cabin departing from the summit at 4.30pm.

READ MORE:
* Christchurch Gondola to reopen after lockdown closure
* Christchurch’s Summit Rd to remain closed for now
* Lyttelton Tunnel and Christchurch Gondola on back-up power

It takes visitors nearly a kilometre up to the top of the Port Hills, giving them a 360 degree view from the summit including a gaze over the cityscape and the peaks of the Southern Alps.

A reopening special giving the first 20 people through the doors a 50 per cent discount on adult gondola tickets would still apply.

Funding for natural hazards research

EQC has put up $3 million towards research at Universities across the country.

George Heard/Stuff

EQC has put up $3 million towards research at Universities across the country.

Three Canterbury University scientists will benefit from a national fund to research natural hazards resilience.

The $3 million fund from the Earthquake Commission (EQC) will put money towards eight research programmes nationally. Each will receive $125,000 annually for three years.

The Canterbury projects include Professor Misko Cubrinovski looking at ways to assess and mitigate liquification hazards, Professor Brendon Bradley looking at next-generation seismic hazard analysis, and Dr Tim Stahl considering how earthquake and landslide research can be used to build resilience.

Researchers in other centres will look at topics such as engineering stronger homes and better land, understanding and managing risk in low seismic hazard zones, and setting up a Māori Disaster Risk Reduction Research Centre.

EQC head of resilience strategy and research Dr Jo Horrocks said New Zealand was one of the world’s riskiest countries for natural hazards but had some of the best scientists dedicated to finding ways to reduce the impact.

She said the programme would help the scientists make advantages in their fields, and would help more than 30 students at masters and PhD level to develop their skills and knowledge under expert guidance.

“Our natural hazards will always be with us, so it’s important that we keep building world-class natural hazard science talent here in New Zealand.”

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