New Zealand’s location astride a belt of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Pacific Ocean has resulted in a dramatic landscape of volcanoes, hot springs, geysers and volcanic lakes. These features - and their boiling water, steam, gas, and mineral deposits - attract interest from sectors including science, energy, civil engineering and tourism.

New Zealanders take pride in understanding the land, harnessing its energy, and caring for its natural resources. Specialist research ranges from renewable energy sources to natural hazard mitigation, environmental management and conservation. New Zealand is also a centre for Antarctic research as the icy continent’s close neighbour.

Sector Highlights

Natural hazards and building technology

New Zealand’s dynamic geology has led it to become a leader in natural hazard research - earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunami and landslides. This has led to strengths in hazard monitoring, modelling, land use planning, building design, emergency management and education.
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Christchurch is home to New Zealand’s Natural Hazard Research Centre, at the University of Canterbury’s Department of Geological Sciences. Following a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in 2011, the city has become a knowledge hub in earthquake engineering, low damage construction, building technology, resilient infrastructure and sustainability. It has attracted international conferences in geotechnical engineering, surveying, construction, and structural engineering.

“Christchurch is a living classroom, and a rare example of a city where we have both steel structures and earthquakes. Seismic engineering will play an increasing role in the future, here and internationally.” Dr Gregory MacRae of the University of Canterbury

Renewable energy

New Zealanders have become skilled at analysing, managing and harnessing the natural processes occurring in its dynamic geology, with the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science - GNS Science - the lead knowledge hub. Almost 80% of New Zealand’s electricity generation is from renewable sources - geothermal, hydro, wind, biomass, and solar - with the New Zealand Government targeting 90% renewable electricity by 2025.
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New Zealand’s leading geothermal expertise has been instrumental in projects around the globe. The Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland is one of the premier geothermal research and training centres in the world.

“The Holy Grail for a lot of mineral geologists and explorationists is the Champagne Pool at Waiotapu. Most of the mineral deposit types we look at have formed from hot water. You are right in that environment in Rotorua, with its hot springs and geothermal areas. You’re in the analogue, you can see the processes in action.” Dr Tony Christie, Senior Minerals Geologist at GNS Science


Resource and environmental management

New Zealand’s natural environment plays a leading role in its key industries, including agriculture, food exports, and tourism. As such, New Zealand is world-leading in its proactive approach to the sustainable management of its natural and physical resources, including land, air, water and unique flora and fauna.
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“The theme that was accepted for the conference – traditional knowledge and innovative science in wetland research and management – reflects the high regard of the international science community for New Zealand’s Mātauranga Māori approach, which underpins our policy, science and management needs.” Dr Philippe Gerbeaux from the Department of Conservation’s Freshwater team


Bring your next earth sciences conference to New Zealand

To enquire about having your business event in New Zealand please feel free to contact me.

Leonie Ashford

Leonie Ashford

Business Events Bid Manager

New Zealand

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