New Zealand
Te Karere

Tuwharetoa encourage precaution, respect of Lake Taupō after quake

December 4, 2022

The Tuwharetoa Māori Trust Board are encouraging iwi and hapū members to take precaution following the recent magnitude 5.6 earthquake in the Ngāti Tuwharetoa region.

By Regan Paranihi

The trust board's chief executive, Rakeipoho Taiaroa, refers to Lake Taupō, Motutaiko and Horomātangi as precious taonga that has protected the North Island tribe for many centuries.

“They have provided life and protection to Ngāti Tūwharetoa iwi since they arrived in the Taupō region. The iwi and its hapū carved out a living by maintaining a humble respect for the taiao (environment) around them,” Taiaroa said.

On Wednesday night, many residents in the Taupō area were woken by a strong shake, which was followed by several aftershocks causing large slips along the white cliffs between Hatepe and Waitahanui and minor flooding in the Wharewaka area.

Taiaroa says over time Ngāti Tuwharetoa have endured earthquakes of this magnitude before and while precautions are in place, at this stage the trust board is encouraging iwi and hapū to not be apprehensive.

“The ongoing seismic activity is a different form of the same natural power that has sustained Ngāti Tūwharetoa over the years.”

The Volcanic Alert Level for Taupō Moana remains at Alert Level 1, GNS Science says.

“The swarm of earthquakes does not indicate any eruptive activity is likely. GNS expects this sequence to taper off over time.”

GNS also advise, that should anyone near Taupō Moana, feel strong ground shaking, hear a loud boom, or notice unusual lake conditions, they should act immediately and move to higher ground as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Tuwharetoa Trust Board will continue to monitor the situation and will work closely with the various entities currently deployed in the region.