Project Experience


High Intensity Rainfall Design System (HIRDS)

  • Testing and promoting New Zealand’s high intensity rainfall design system so that it was fit for purpose and readily adopted by design engineers throughout New Zealand.
  • Planned and obtained funding for the 2016 upgrade, to include NZ’s first areal reduction curves and temporal design storm patterns.


Integrated catchment management

  • Set up Environment Canterbury’s first completely integrated catchment water resource survey on the Orari catchment, this included surface and groundwater interaction as well as the full measurement of all surface and groundwater abstractions.


Mapping water resources

  • Overseen the complete mapping of the Canterbury region’s water resources at low flow, including concurrent gaugings to detect losing and gaining reaches.


Water loss and gain surveys

  • Completed on the, Rakaia, Waimakariri, Rangitata, Orari,, Ohapi, Ashburton, Selwyn, Avon, Waipara, and Ashley rivers.


Ashburton Management Plan

  • Advanced the knowledge of the naturalised Ashburton River flow regime to enable integrated catchment water resource management.


Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere)

  • Developed a practical (42 year) daily water balance model of Lake Ellesmere to predict level changes for optional management rules, used in two WCO Hearings.
  • The key witness at the Hearing for the amendments to the WCO on Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) to improve the environmental health of this fourth largest lake in New Zealand.
  • Model used in the Selwyn/Waihora limit setting.


Environment Court negotiations

  • Advanced the Opihi River Plan environment Court negotiations by modelling the influence of the Opuha Dam.


Flood Forecasting

  • Successfully developed one of the first flood forecasting systems in Australasia. Forecasts provide 16 hours warning to Christchurch of Waimakariri River floods.
  • Forecast floods for the Ashley River to the Rangiora traffic Bridge, from storm rainfalls. Providing up to six hours warning of flood peaks within ±13% of the actual magnitude and within ± one hour of arrival time. The model was used to confirm the 100 year design flood for the Ashley Floodplain Management Regional Plan.


Team Leader

  • Led a surface water monitoring team operating a large hydrometric network and successfully increased the annual data processed, from 40% to 99%.


Rainfall research

  • Set up and serviced climatological and hydrological stations across a transect of the Southern Alps of New Zealand from Mt Hutt to the Waitaha Valley on the West coast.
  • Included organised teams of up to 28 scientists and technicians to complete monthly measurements using helicopters in a rugged mountainous area, where the weather can change very quickly. Measurements of 13000 mm annual rain and winds of 210 mph were common.
  • Independent reviewer of Hawkes Bay Regional Council telemetry system performance, during cyclone Gabrielle.