Hawke's Bay tour all about educating civil defence staff

A recent tour to Hawke’s Bay by members of Tararua District Council staff, councillors and civil defence volunteers, was all about learning how to keep residents safe should a disaster such as an earthquake or tsunami occur.

Organised by Tararua District Council’s resilience manager Paddy Driver, the tour included a briefing by Kate Boersen, community science co-ordinator for East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary) based at the National Aquarium in Napier, a visit to Haumoana Beach and the Hastings District Council’s emergency operations centre.

Mr Driver said the Kaikoura earthquake last November had a massive impact on the eastern plate boundary off the east coast of Tararua, resulting in slow slip activity in the Hikurangi subduction zone.

A subduction zone is where one tectonic plate dives (subducts) under another plate, causing a megathrust. With the Hikurangi plate boundary the fastest moving slow slip in New Zealand, it is not a question of if it will happen; it is now a question of when it happens.

Mr Driver said educating civil defence staff was vital as slow slips could set off faults in Tararua, and had the potential to cause a major earthquake.

With our coastal boundaries along the East Coast at Akitio and Herbertville, there is also a real risk of tsunami, which is the biggest risk to life, said Mr Driver.

Mr Driver said the tour had been highly successful and everyone had learnt a lot from it.



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