Project Details

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What is DEVORA?

DEtermining VOlcanic Risk in Auckland (DEVORA) is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary collaborative research programme which is led by volcanologists at the University of Auckland and GNS Science. The project, active since 2008, aims to improve the volcanic hazard outlook and risk assessment for Auckland. The findings have the potential to improve business decision-making and risk management, as well as make Auckland a safer place.

Our funding partners include The University of Auckland, GNS Science, the Earthquake Commission, the Auckland Council, and Massey University. Experts from these organisations and others across New Zealand are involved in the project.

 Why is this project important?

The city of Auckland is built on the potentially active Auckland Volcanic Field. It is also vulnerable to ash fall from other North Island volcanoes. As Auckland provides over 1/3 of the nation’s gross domestic product, is a major transport and economic hub, and is home to over 1.5 million people, a volcanic eruption would place the nation’s economy and the city’s infrastructure and population at risk.

What are we doing?

Scientists, emergency managers, economists, and other experts and stakeholders across New Zealand are working together to create an integrated risk model summarising the answers to three major questions:

Why is the AVF where it is?: We are gathering data to explain how, why, and how often and how fast magma moves to the surface in the Auckland Volcanic Field.

What happens when the volcanoes erupt?: We are studying past eruptions (timing, size, location, volcanic deposits) to recognise patterns and to identify the biggest threats to Auckland from future eruptions.

What are the potential impacts?: We are compiling information on Auckland’s built and social environment and combining it with the answers to the questions above to describe how an eruption would affect Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. This will result in a tool that will help emergency managers make life-saving decisions before, during, and after an eruption.

The DEVORA research programme, which grew out of the ‘Auckland: It’s Our Volcano’ project, officially launched on Thursday, 6 November 2008. It is aimed at a much-improved assessment of volcanic hazard and risk in the Auckland metropolitan area, and will provide a strategy and rationale for appropriate risk mitigation. This will be based on increasing our understanding of the AVF through an integrated, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency study.

Researchers are working with Auckland Council Civil Defence and Emergency Management to incorporate our findings into policy, and with lifelines organisations (through the ALG) and businesses to improve their resistance and resilience to volcanic disasters.

DEVORA 2020 Aspirational Objectives
  • 1. We are confident in knowing the Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF)
  • 2. Our diverse society knows, understands and trusts our science
  • 3. People will behave appropriately in a volcanic crisis
  • 4. People understand and appropriately mitigate risk and consequence in language/formats that suit their needs
  • 5. Auckland Council, Businesses and individuals have anticipated, prepared for and are able to respond and recover – planning appropriately
  • 6. DEVORA supports ‘Resilient Auckland’
  • 7. Auckland continues to thrive following any NZ eruption
  • 8. Our science has wider benefits
  • 9. Auckland is linked in to other major hazard programmes, aligned to DEVORA
  • 10. We are confident in knowing other volcanic threats to Auckland


Please visit our Publications and Events pages to find out more, or explore Resources concerning the Auckland Volcanic Field.


Contact us

DEVORA Management Team

General enquiries can be made via the Contact us link in the menu above or by clicking here. We now have a Facebook page.

The DEVORA management team  (l-r): Elaine Smid (UOA), Graham Leonard (GNS Science), Jan Lindsay (UOA),  Tracy Howe (UoA)