Tararua locals are invited to learn about the “powerful” geology of the Wairarapa region in two free public talks presented by scientists from GNS Science.

Dr Kyle Bland and Dr Jess Hillman will present the talks on Thursday 9 May and Wednesday 15 May respectively, at Pahiatua School  from 6:30pm to 8pm.

Dr Kyle Bland, geologist, will present a beginner’s guide to the geological history of Wairarapa, with a focus on what the region can tell us about the ancient history of Zealandia/Te Riu-a-Māui, Earth’s youngest continent.

“The geology of Wairarapa reflects powerful Earth forces. The region’s rocks record an incredible story of tectonic, landscape and ancient climate change,” says Dr Bland.

Dr Jess Hillman, marine geologist, will focus her talk on gas hydrates research currently being carried out along the southern Hikurangi Margin offshore from Wairarapa.

“Gas hydrates are a type of frozen methane that exist beneath our seafloor. As a type of fossil fuel, there are broad environmental and socio-economic implications that need to be investigated if we are to consider extracting them for energy,” says Dr Hillman.

“Research into gas hydrates can also help us understand natural geohazards, such as submarine landslides, and how seafloor creatures use methane as a food source”.

The talks are open to anyone from the community and are free of charge.

GNS Science is running GeoCamp 2019, a hands-on geology camp for year 7-9 kids interested in science, in Pahiatua from 6 – 17 May. The kids will showcase their discoveries in a science expo on Saturday 18 May.


Thursday 9 May, 6:30 to 8pm | Dr Kyle Bland: Beginners guide to Wairarapa geological history

Wednesday 15 May, 6:30 to 8pm | Dr Jess Hillman: Fiery Ice – gas hydrates on the Hikurangi Margin

Pahiatua School, 21 Albert Street, Pahiatua

For more information, please contact: media@gns.cri.nz or 021 574 541