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Whangarei city tsunami readiness improves

This page contains information about our city's tsunami readiness improving.
Updated: 8/11/2018 10:37 a.m.

​Whangārei City’s tsunami readiness is steadily improving with tsunami sirens and information boards boosting preparedness.

The City has six outdoor tsunami sirens along its harbour waterways, three tsunami information boards and an indoor tsunami siren (synchronised with the outdoor sirens) on a key piece of infrastructure - the Te Matau a Pohe bridge over the Hātea River.

Whangārei City is more than 25 kilometres up Whangarei Harbour from the open ocean at Whangarei Heads, but most of the city’s central business district is in a tsunami evacuation zone as tsunami travel up rivers and waterways. 

Northland Regional Council tsunami evacuation maps (link below) covering the city, show just how far tsunami can travel inland, for example up the Hātea River at least as far as Mair Park.

The City's six outdoor sirens are at:

  • Whangarei Town Basin,
  • Ewing Road,
  • Lower Dent Street,
  • Union East Street, and
  • two in Port Road.

They are tested twice-yearly at the start and finish of daylight saving and help alert Whangārei City in the event of a genuine tsunami warning.

An indoor tsunami siren can now alert the Te Matau a Pohe bridge control house. This siren is synchronised with the region’s outdoor sirens so will sound at the same time as these. 

Meanwhile, the City’s three large brightly-coloured tsunami information boards can be found at:

  • the Town Basin’s Whangarei Marina Office, 
  • Te Matau a Pohe bridge carpark, and
  • beside the shared pathway outside Whangarei Cruising Club at Kissing Point.  

These are designed to inform the growing number of people in and around Whangārei City about tsunami's and how to be prepared.

Each of the boards is in the City’s coastal tsunami evacuation zone which features prominently as an individualised colour-coded map on the signage - along with clearly marked safe areas outside the zone that are safe for people to head to if a tsunami is coming.

People reading the signs need to make sure they’re aware of being in the tsunami evacuation zone and importantly, where to go to if needing to get to safety fast.

The signs’ large maps help people work out where to go to in the safe zone outside the tsunami evacuation zones and how to get there.

Being prepared is essential for tsunami survival. Those who live, work or play in the City’s tsunami evacuation zone are encouraged to use available alerting options, have an evacuation plan and practise it, as well as a business continuity plan for at risk City enterprises.  

There may be less than an hour’s warning should a tsunami be generated from coastal landslides or earthquakes around New Zealand’s coast, meaning those in the central business district need to be well-prepared.  

A Northland Regional Council website link enables those in Whangarei city to check out whether they live, work, visit or play in a tsunami evacuation zone.

Tsunami Evacuation Zones

The sirens are part of a suite of available tsunami alerting options. Visit the NRC website (link below) to learn more about these.

Get alerts to your smartphones



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