Otago Daily Times
$17.5m research cash covers coastal threat
RESEARCH on the impact of increased coastal flooding on property prices is among many projects boosted by $17.5 million in Marsden funding to the University of Otago.
The newly formed Climate and Energy Finance Group, led by the Otago Business School’s Associate Prof Ivan DiazRainey, has received $869,000 to explore to how increasing flood frequencies will affect property values in New Zealand coastal cities.
‘‘This is an extremely important topic because 65% of the population in New Zealand live within 5km of the sea and 85% of individual wealth is concentrated in real estate,’’ Prof DiazRainey said.
Flooding also had implications for the stability of our banks, given that more than 60% of the value of the four largest New Zealand banks’ loan portfolios involved housing, he said.
GNS Science geologist Dr Simon Cox, of Dunedin, has undertaken a recent study of South Dunedin hydrology, and had contributed to a pilot scheme for the main study.
The main study would also provide further insights into floodrelated effects on property prices in parts of Dunedin.
Fourteen projects, led by researchers in the Otago commerce, health sciences, humanities and sciences divisions received grants ranging up to $960,000, and 16 researchers received Fast Start grants.
Vicechancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said the 30 Otago grants were a significant achievement.
The Otago research ranged widely, from Prof Julia Horsfield's $960,000 for research into developmental diseases and cancers, to Prof Claire Freeman’s $729,000 to encourage urban planning that supports childfriendly futures.
In total, the Marsden Fund, which supports excellence in research, allocated $84.75 million (excluding GST) for 134 research projects throughout the country.
Other Otago Marsden Grants ($960,000 unless otherwise stated): Dr Karl Iremonger, physiology; Prof Peter Fineran, microbiology & immunology; Dr Lynette Brownfield, biochemistry, $958,000; Dr Louise Bicknell, pathology, $959,000; Prof Julia Horsfield, pathology; Prof Martin Hazelton, statistics, $706,000; Dr H.G.L. Schwefel, physics, $899,000; Prof Martin Kennedy, pathology, $956,000; Prof Claire Freeman, geography, $729,000; Prof Anthony Kettle, pathology; Associate Prof C. Fraser, marine sciences; Associate Prof Joanna Kirman, microbiology & immunology; Prof Pauline Norris, Centre for Pacific Health, $870,000.
Fast Start, each $300,000. — Dr Kirsty Danielson, surgery; Dr Judith (Jude) Ball, public health; Dr Siew Hoong (Joe) Yip, anatomy; Dr Michelle
Munro, physiology; Dr Dominic Searles, mathematics; Dr Karen Reader, pathology; Dr Jemma Geoghegan, microbiology & immunology; Dr K.O. Smiley, anatomy; Dr G.A. McCulloch, zoology; Dr K.J. Mitchell, zoology; Dr Erica Newman, Te Tumu; Dr L.A. Robertson, preventive and social medicine; Dr Htin Lin Aung, microbiology & immunology; Dr Karen Greig, archaeology; Dr Kimberley O'Sullivan, public health; Dr Romain Meyrand, physics.