More than 250 natural hazard specialists and researchers will attend a disaster conference next week, featuring discussions on the Christchurch earthquakes and the grounding of the Rena cargo ship.

The University of Canterbury conference will take place in Christchurch next week , and will cover some of the major natural hazards in Australia and New Zealand.

Warning systems, the response process and recovery trends around disasters like the 2010 Queensland floods and Australian bushfires will be discussed.

Researchers will also look at insurance issues that have surfaced as a result of the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, and assess how well its rebuild has gone so far.


Lecturer Tom Wilson from the University of Canterbury is helping to organise the conference, and said there had been widespread support from Australia and the United States for the disaster meet.

"There is strong interest from overseas for this conference which is being held in a disaster zone city which has sustained so many earthquakes," said Mr Wilson.

"We've also got the International Research on Disaster Risk coming, which is a UN group."

He said the earthquake-affected city provided an ideal opportunity for researchers to examine the response of groups responsible for coordinating an emergency response in a natural disaster.