The Team

The research is being undertaken by a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, cross-organisational team lead by CRESA.

Research team members

Kay Saville-Smith — Programme Leader

Kay Saville-Smith is a sociologist and director of the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment – CRESA. Kay has undertaken extensive research into housing markets, housing demand, retirement villages, accessible housing, sustainable housing, the residential building industry and neighbourhood built environments. She led Good Homes – a five-year public good science funded programme on older people’s repairs and maintenance needs in the context of ageing in place and led the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Stream for the BEACON Consortium. In addition to being Programme Leader for this programme she currently leads Finding the Best Fit: Downsizing and Older People a three-year public good science funded programme due to end in late 2016. She works collaboratively with BRANZ over issues of house condition and performance and led the social science component of the Building Energy End-use Study (BEES) undertaken by BRANZ. She is also a trustee for the Marlborough Sustainable Housing Trust which focuses on delivering affordable, sustainable housing through good design, reducing building costs and shared ownership.

Bev James

Bev James is the principal of Public Policy & Research. She has wide-ranging experience in policy analysis and management, social research and evaluation. Dr James gained her DPhil from the University of Waikato. Prior to undertaking contracting work 10 years ago, Bev was Branch Manager, Social Policy in the Ministry of Maori Development. She has also worked for the Department of Conservation and Wellington Regional Council, and was a senior lecturer at Massey University. Recent research and publications include: “What happens to research? Responses to a project on the residential movement of children and young people” Social Policy Journal of New Zealand 33 (March 2008); (with R. Fraser) Te Hiringa i te Mahara 2008 National Survey of Maori Secondary Teachers. Report prepared for Gardiner Parata (2008); (with K. Saville-Smith, J. Warren and R. Fraser) Access to safe and secure housing for at risk and vulnerable young people, CHRANZ, Wellington (in press); Children’s and Young People’s Housing Experiences: Issues and Scoping Paper, CHRANZ (2007); (with K Saville-Smith, M Scotts, and R Fraser) Local Government and Affordable Housing, CHRANZ (2007); (with K. Saville-Smith, R. Fraser, B. Ryan and S. Travaglia) Housing and Disability: Future Proofing New Zealand’s Housing Stock for an Inclusive Society, CHRANZ (2007).

Ruth Fraser

Ruth Fraser is of Ngai Tahu descent and has trained in social policy and law. She has an LLB (Hons). She has been employed as a researcher at CRESA since October 1995. Ruth’s main interests are in the areas of the rental market, resource management, household energy use, and community development. She has extensive experience in face-to-face interviews and focus groups with a range of people and in data management and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative information. Recent research includes database design, quality control and analysis of social science data from the now complete Household End-use Energy Project (HEEP) undertaken with BRANZ. She was research officer for the evaluation of the Rural Housing Programme undertaken for Housing New Zealand Corporation, the NMT Affordable Housing Study led by MOTU, research on landlord practices for the Department of Building and Housing, and research on access to safe and secure housing for at risk and vulnerable young people.

Roman Jaques

Roman Jaques is a senior environmental building scientist with BRANZ, New Zealand’s only independent research, testing, consulting and educational company providing resources for the building industry.

Rob Bell

BE(Hons) (Civil Engineering), PhD (Civil Engineering–Canterbury), CPEng, M.IPENZ
Principal Scientist, Natural Hazards at NIWA, Rob has been involved for over 30 years in research and consultancy projects involving coastal engineering, natural hazards, climate change and assessing risk. As well as being directly involved in coastal and natural hazard projects for clients, he is also a Programme Leader of the hazard frequency and risk components of NIWA’s Natural Hazards Centre, covering weather-related and marine-geological hazards. This includes applied research and monitoring for natural physical hazards, such as tsunami, storms, floods, waves, coastal erosion, wind, maritime hazards and sea-level change and applications of the RiskScape system. Rob is the Project Manager for NIWA’s component of the Community Resilience and Good Ageing project lead by CRESA.

Ryan Paulik

Ryan Paulik is a hazard analyst/risk modeller at NIWA Wellington, with 7 years’ experience in natural hazard and emergency management. Ryan is responsible for the weather-related hazard vulnerability component of RiskScape, a project to develop a natural hazard impact and loss assessment tool ( His work involves the development of impact and loss models for people, buildings, infrastructure and agricultural assets. Model development is based on impact data collected from post-event disaster assessments both in New Zealand and internationally. Ryan has also worked for several regional councils with roles in developing land use planning, emergency management, research and monitoring initiatives to improve the management of natural hazards.

Mark Jones

Mark is the Building Performance Manager at BRANZ. His areas of specialisation include: materials durability & performance, service life prediction, condition, maintenance performance and resilience of buildings, as well as management of group research into other building performance issues such as weather tightness, thermal physics and indoor environmental quality. Mark is the Project Manager for BRANZ’s component of the Community Resilience and Good Ageing project lead by CRESA.

Nick Marston

Nick is Materials Team Leader with BRANZ, New Zealand’s only independent research, testing, consulting and educational company providing resources for the building industry. His work combines managing a team of scientists and technicians working on a portfolio of research and commercial projects with laboratory and field research. His recent research has included managing the surveying of New Zealand’s housing for the 2010 House Condition Survey, examining the suitability of emerging plastic composite and bio-derived materials for use in construction in New Zealand, as well as researching the effects of environmental exposure on plastics and metals.

Sally Priest

Sally Priest has a background in geography and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University, London. Sally has researched different aspects of social responses to and the understanding of risk. She has also researched the effectiveness of public information in raising awareness about flooding and the influence that it has on attitudes and behaviour. She managed an Environment Agency research project examining the options for the development of a surface water flood warning service for England and Wales and another project examining the use of public and professional engagement when developing flood maps. Most recently Sally has returned to look at the changing nature of flood insurance in the United Kingdom under the Knowledge for Climate programme and is developing lessons from this example for both The Netherlands and other European countries.