Conference Programme 2012

Not long now everybody!

Have a look at our fantastic inFIRE Conference 2012 Programme.

We are looking forward to seeing you here in Wellington.


inFIRE 2012 Conference Programme updated!

Download the inFIRE 2012 Conference Programme

Recover. Revive. Reach. Be part of a jam-packed 3 ½ days dedicated to facing challenges head on, recovering from disasters big and small, reviving your organisations and yourselves, and reaching for new ways of doing things. Hear about the latest in New Zealand fire research. Find out how we can help our organisations get through these tough times. Excellent speakers will talk about the role of libraries in research, changing our traditional models, technology and social media, planning for disaster, and digitisation.

Monday 27th February

6:00-8:00 pm Welcome to Wellington!   reception drinks & nibbles at Travelodge Wellington

Tuesday 28th February

 8:30 am

Powhiri – formal welcome, a uniquely New Zealand experience

 9:00 am

Welcome address NZFS CE/NC representative

 9:15 am

inFIRE Chair address

 9:30 am

Mitchell Brown, NZFS Research, Data and Information applied at an Emergency

10:00 am


10:30 am

Mitchell Brown, NZFS Workshop – Research, data and information applied at an Emergency

11:00 am

Dan Coward, NZFS  The Christchurch earthquakes: the NZFS response, the challenges, and new directions

11:45 am

Short presentation – TBC

12:00 pm


1:00 pm

Piki Thomas, NZFS   Recover. Revive. Reach. A real world case study

1:45 pm

Stacey Smith, PWC   What’s new at PWC? From Knowledge Services to Research and Insights

2:30 pm

Veronica Clifford, Scion   Showcasing rural fire research tech transfer

3:15 pm


3:45 pm

Dr Brenda Chawner, Victoria University of Wellington   Facing the future: technology trends and the information profession

4:30 pm

April Flux, NZFS   Get rid of the books – it’s all electronic now

5:15 pm

Personal recovery time!   Own arrangements, but we will guide you to a very picturesque dinner spot

Wednesday 29th February

9:00 am

Leap into housekeeping!

 9:15 am

Amanda Robbins, BRANZ   The Fire Research Hub: Bringing fire communities together (via videoconference)

10:00 am


10:45 am

Tour of Parliament and  Parliamentary Library

12:15 pm

Short presentation – TBC

12:30 pm


1:15 pm

Session 8 – TBC

2:30 pm

Lynn Campbell, Christchurch City Gallery   Saving heritage collections from disaster

3:15 pm


3:45 pm

Mats Bornström, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency The place of libraries in the development of decision support systems

4:15 pm

Dr Ian Miller   What do we know about fatal fires?

7:00 pm

Ferry to Days Bay

7:30 pm

Thomson Reuters inFIRE Conference Dinner at Cobar, Days Bay 

Thursday 1st March

9:00 am

House keeping

 9:15 am

 Edward Metz Fire Files Digital Library (via video conference)

9:40 am

Nielsen, Jennifer  The flood, the library, and the aftermath (delivered in person or by short session DVD)

10:00 am


10:30 am

Emma Roache, NZFS   Sipping from the fire hose

11:00 pm

Dr Ganesh Nana, BERL   Learnings from the costs of fire, and the place of libraries in fire research

1:00 pm

Visit to BRANZ (includes lunch)

5:00 pm

Up the hill!   Voluntary activity.   Take the cable car up to the Wellington Botanic Garden, and enjoy the spectacular harbour views (splendid weather permitting).


Friday 2nd March

9:00 am

House keeping

 9:15 am

Christine Busby, Parliamentary Library   Social media and the special library

10:00 am

Reach MORNING TEA – sponsored by Sheila Pantry and Associates

10:30 am

Easy win marketing workshop   Come with your solutions, challenges and an open mind

11:45 pm

inFIRE wrap-up


Conference close



A big thank you to our sponsors:

  • Thomson Reuters
  • Sheila Pantry and Associates


Speakers confirmed – time & date to be confirmed

Pauline La Rooy, NZMS   Wrangling those digitisation projects into shape


Short spots & Poster Sessions

The programme will include a number of short presentations and room for posters in keeping with the theme of the conference, Recover. Revive. Reach.   So far we have pencilled in posters or short presentations from Canterbury University Library, and Jennifer Nielsen, Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy Library.


Research, Data and Information applied at an Emergency

Mitchell Brown, Area Manager Manawatu Area, NZFS

This paper will look to explain the use of research, data and information prior to and during these two events. Focussing on where research and data was received and sourced from and then applied as information at the emergency to assist the building search and operational management of the Christchurch CBD Red Zone emergency management needs from each of the two major quakes.

The session will give conference delegates the opportunity to explore firsthand the necessary pre event research and data processes that are called upon to accumulate key information to act upon to manage the complexities of such a major emergency event.

The discussion will provide a wider view for both national and international events and what research, data and information is required for such an event and will provide a demonstration of how it is turned into information to manage and define the priorities and needs of a major emergency event.

Workshop – Research, and Information applied at a major emergency

Mitchell Brown, Area Manager Manawatu Area, NZFS

Delegates will have the opportunity to reflect on their role and their organisational capability and capacity to provide the key research and data applied to major events as information and contribute their practices to format opportunities for improvement prior to the next big one!


The Christchurch earthquakes:  the NZFS response, challenges, and new directions

Dan Coward, Director of Strategic Redevelopment Christchurch, New Zealand Fire Service
New Zealanders were shocked when a major earthquake struck Canterbury early on Saturday the 4th of September, 2010.   Earthquakes don’t happen in Canterbury, do they?  

On 22nd of February 2011, that shock turned to disbelief as another major earthquake hit Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region again.   That shock and disbelief turned to grief as our nation watched images of the devastated city, and learned of the rising casualties.   

The New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) played a huge role in the initial response to this earthquake.  Not only was the NZFS a first response agency, it was also directly affected by the earthquake.   The earthquake changed the way the NZFS needs to work.  

 At the time of the earthquake, Dan Coward was the Area Manager for Christchurch Metro Fire Area.   Dan will take us through the NZFS response, and the lessons learned from that response.  

Everything has change for the people of Christchurch.   The NZFS has needed to change how it does its job.   In his new role as Director of Strategic Redevelopment Christchurch, Dan will discuss the challenges faced by the NZFS in Christchurch, and will outline the strategic direction of how the NZFS will now help protect what the people of Canterbury and Christchurch value.

Recover. Revive. Reach. A case study

Piki Thomas, Pou Herenga Māori, New Zealand Fire Service

Abstract coming soon!


What’s new at PWC?   From Knowledge Services to Research & Insights

Stacey Smith, PWC

What happens when traditional library models no longer work for your organisation?   PWC turned those models on their heads.   Stacey Smith takes us on PWC’s journey from the traditional Knowledge Services, to the future facing Research & Insights team.   The team analysed what was and wasn’t working, put in place a new structure, and embarked on a new way of doing things.  

The Fire Research Hub – bringing fire research communities together! 

Amanda Robbins, BRANZ

The Fire Research Hub seeks to bring widely dispersed fire communities together using information technology and social media tools.   Through wikis, blogs and other devices, the Fire Research Blog will harness global experience and knowledge.   We will be able to take these learnings into our own research and organisational best practice, and improve the way we protect people from fire.   Hear how the project is going, and how you and your organisations may contribute to that project.   This presentation will be delivered using video technology!



The Canterbury earthquakes – lessons learned

Lynn Campbell, Christchurch City Gallery

At 5.43 am on Saturday 4th September, 2010, Canterburywas shaken by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The epicentre was located 40 kilometres west of Christchurchand had a focal depth of 10 km causing widespread damage which affected the whole of the South Island with vibrations felt as far away as Auckland. No one died during this earthquake but buildings were badly damaged including many heritage buildings. On December 26th there was another big aftershock but again with no loss of life. However on the 22nd of February at 12.55 pm there was a 6.3 magnitude aftershock centred in thePort ofLyttelton that devastated centralChristchurch and killed 181 people, mostly in the central city district in modern buildings. The severity of this quake was caused by the fact that its focal depth was only 5 km deep. It was the shallowness of the shake that caused the major wide spread destruction. Disasters are sudden, unpredictable and can cause extensive damage and destruction. They can strike at any time and preparation is vital to safeguard heritage collections. The preparation of a disaster recovery plan is the most effective method for ensuring the safeguarding of collections. Thinking about the issues that are unique to museum or gallery collections is vital. There is no one size fits all and coming up with a plan that incorporates fresh ways of managing any potential disaster will be of immeasurable assistance should disaster strike. Risk assessment is also a vital part of this process. Another essential tool that can be utilised is training in disaster preparedness. This can be achieved by participating in hands on workshops that can be set up in conjunction with your local friendly fire training school. The Canterbury Disaster Salvage Team has been doing this for the last ten years in conjunction the NZ Fire Service at Woolston. The talk will address these issues and discuss a case study – six months after the February 2011 aftershock the library staff of an institution were told they could access their heritage collections which were substantial. The institution was on the seventh floor of a building in the “red zone” of the CBD. Personnel could only enter with a certified engineer and could only stay if in groups of three or more. By this time liquefaction, silt and mould were major issues as was the lack of power and damaged stairs. It was impossible to use the stairs for moving the collections so a decision was made to crane up a container to the seventh floor to salvage the objects. The talk will discuss the difficulties faced and solutions undertaken to successfully salvage the collection.

What do we know about fatal fires?     

Dr Ian Miller

Abstract coming soon!


Learning from the costs of fire, and the place of libraries in fire research

Dr Ganesh Nana, BERL

Dr Ganesh Nana has led and worked on a number of research projects for the New Zealand Fire Service Contestable Research Fund.  These include An Economic Assessment of Industrial Fires in New Zealand; Developing a Composite Performance Measure of the New Zealand Fire Service; The Impact of Changes in New Zealand’s Demographic Profile on Fire Outcome; and, most recently, a review of strategies to minimise the risk of fire associated with alcohol consumption. 

Ganesh will discuss practical insights arising from this research.  He will argue that fire databases, libraries and information services play a key role in the research process.  Not only do they assist in the provision of relevant national and international research, documents and data, but fire databases, libraries and information services support strategic decision-making that improves the methods and practises of fire safety in New Zealand.

Ganesh is the Chief Economist at Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL).  BERL is a privately-owned independent company that provides economic research and business advice to public and private sector clients in New Zealand. 

With over 25 years of experience working in the field of economics, Dr Nana has a thorough knowledge and understanding of New Zealand economic data, modelling and analysis.  He is also responsible for preparing BERL’s assessment of the state of the New Zealand economy and an irregular commentator for various media outlets.

Showcasing rural fire research tech transfer

Veronica Clifford, Grant Pearce & Richard Parker, Scion, Rural Fire Research Group

Since its establishment in 1992, the Scion Rural Fire Research programme have developed a range of tools and guidelines essential for fire management and enhancing firefighter and community safety. The research group have been involved in numerous tech transfer activities, including national training courses, regional training seminars, conferences and workshops, as well production of a range of software tools and publications. This presentation will cover the latest in fire behaviour tools developed by the rural fire research team. These include:

  1. The Manual for Predicting Fire Behaviour in New Zealand Fuels – paper based method of calculating fire behaviour
  2. New Zealand Fire Behaviour Toolkit – software package for calculating fire behaviour.
  3. New Zealand fuel photoguide – aids in the selection of the most appropriate models for fire behaviour prediction
  4. Prometheus, a fire growth simulation – predicts where a fire might travel on the landscape
  5. User guide to the New Zealand Fire Danger Rating System – contains a series of worked examples illustrating how the NZFDRS can be used across the 4 Rs.

Veronica will also present current research into fire-fighter instrumentation kits for monitoring fire fighter productivity and workload in dangerous environments.

Facing the future: Technology trends and the information professions

Dr Brenda Chawner, Victoria University of Wellington

Over the last 15 years, the role of professional librarian/information manager has been increasingly shaped by technologies that place more information directly in the hands of (or more precisely, on the desktops of) users. Professional librarians and information managers are no longer the trusted intermediary, locating information on request. Their role has changed to a behind-the-scenes facilitator of access to information, with an emphasis on negotiating contracts and arranging for networked access to resources. This presentation will begin by summarising the main technology trends that have led to today’s information environment and reviewing the ways in which the information professions have responded to them. It will then present two scenarios for the future—one optimistic, and one pessimistic, to stimulate discussion.


Sipping from the firehose

Emma Roache, New Zealand Fire Service

Social media is fun, disruptive to the norms of information distribution, and happens to be incredibly useful for work.  Watch as the New Zealand Fire Service Library grapples with how to reach our widely dispersed patrons using social media tools, and within a prescribed technology environment.    We started a blog in 2010, using the evolving corporate platform (on Microsoft Sharepoint), and have recently dipped our toes into Twitter.

There is lots of talk about public libraries blogging, and a growing consensus on social media engagement and etiquette.  But how does it work for a special library targeting an internal audience that is operationally focussed, partly volunteer, and geographically dispersed? 

Get rid of the books – it’s all electronic now …

April Flux, New Zealand Fire Service

… is a familiar refrain that makes many a librarian grit their teeth in anguish.  But are we being too traditional? Could the NZFS replace hard copy books with e-books and still meet the needs of the organisation?   A wide ranging analysis was conducted to answer this question.   The analysis included: surveying special library colleagues, analysing library statistics, conducting a literature review on e-resources and collection development models, investigating electronic resources, investigating pricing models, costing office space, and turning the “space” question on its head by asking for more space!

Social media and special libraries

Christine Busby, Parliamentary Library

Abstract coming soon


The place of libraries in the development of decision support systems

Mats Bornström, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency

RIB Decision Support System is a source of information for everyone (who knows Swedish) working in the field of Civil Contingencies, ie, all the firefighters, police, transport, medical personnel and coast guard officials for the municipality. RIB linking databases together provide comprehensive information about how an accident can be managed, how prevention can be planned, risks involved when the accident occurs and where resources are.

WIS is a web-based information system developed to facilitate information sharing between actors in the Swedish emergency management system. The system has primarily been designed to be used in the event of an emergency, but can also be used as a knowledge bank for preventative work and as a support in practice and training.

The government library at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency can assist with literature that is searchable via the library catalog. We also have access to magazines, videos and other media, primarily in emergencies and crises.

In this presentation we will find out what a government library, a decision support system and a web-based information system have in common.


BRANZ visit and talk

BRANZ is an independent and impartial research, testing, consulting and information company providing services and resources for the building industry.   This includes expertise in fire research.   The main BRANZ site at Judgeford, Wellington, covers five hectares and contains laboratories, testing facilities and exposure sites to meet national and international standards.

Recent fire research study reports include: Fire design for aging residential occupancies, House fire GHG emissions estimation tool, and Residential kitchen local fire protection experiments, and cost-effectiveness analysis


Parliamentary Library tour

The Parliamentary Library provides an excellent service to Members of Parliament and their offices, and are past recipients of the 3M Award for Innovations in Libraries.   While the services this library provides are future focused, the Parliamentary Library building is historic and beautiful.   There has been a Parliamentary library in the building since 1901 (the General Assembly Library).   The Parliamentary Library has sad connection with fire – in 1907, much of the building was destroyed by fire, and in 1992 another damaged the ornate main foyer and gutted offices during restoration work.   This picturesque building has been fully restored.

Speaker Bios

Speaker bios are rolling in daily … watch this space.

Mats Bornström

Mats Bornströmhas been the librarian at the Swedish Rescue Services Agency since2000. In2009 the organisation reorganized to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and Mats joined the new organisation as a librarian.

After 10 years in gourmet seafood retailing on the Swedish west coast, he started his studies in Library and Information Science in1996. In1999 he received his Master of Science in Library and Information Studies at the University College of Borås, Sweden.

Mats is currently working with the MSB Library and as an IT Project Manager for RIB, emergency management support system.

He has been a member of the inFIRE executive committee since 2005.

Dr Brenda Chawner

Brenda Chawner is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Information Management, Victoria University of New Zealand.  Brenda’s main research interest is in the development of free/libre and open source (FLOSS) software for libraries.  She is most interested in particular factors that affect the roles that participants take on in software development projects, and has recently completed a PhD entitled ‘Factors Influencing Participant Satisfaction with Free/Libre and Open Source Software Projects’ [Repository link here]. Brenda also edits the New Zealand Library and Information Management Journal (NZLIMJ).

Lynn Campbell

Lynn Campbell is a Fine Art paper conservator working and living in Christchurch.  She trained in the UK, and gained extensive international experience in both the UK and developing countries in Africa.  She was one of the first conservators to go to Antarctica to work on the historic huts in the Ross Dependency as part of the New Zealand Antarctic programme.   After arriving in 1986 to work at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery conserving works on paper, Lynn soon realized that there was a need for more preventive conservation protocols and procedures to inhibit deterioration to many collections in New Zealand. In 1987 she started the Canterbury Disaster Salvage Team to help cultural institutions out in the event of a disaster.

Amanda Robbins

Amanda Robbins is a senior fire research engineer at BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand).  With research experience in the areas of materials and oxygen systems flammability, Amanda started work for BRANZ in February 2005.  Amanda does desk-based and laboratory-based research on fire-related issues involving the building industry, such as how smoke spreads through buildings during a fire and how effective different fire suppression techniques are.  She is currently seconded to NIST in the USA.

Dr Ian Miller

Dr Ian Miller is a Registered Psychologist who was previously employed by New Zealand Police (1985-2002) and the Department of Justice (1976-1985). Ian has worked as a consultant since 2002. His work includes provision of expert advice to government agencies, NGO’s, the private sector, legal firms, and others.  His special areas of interest are behavioural factors affecting fire safety and implications for at risk groups, management of problematic complainants, and issues affecting coronial investigations into fatalities and emergency services responses.