The Queenstown Lakes District is prone to Earthquakes - what can you expect?

The Alpine Fault line runs nearby and there is a history of land instability in the area. Many earthquakes are not felt because they are either very small or are very deep in the earth. But a large, damaging earthquake could occur at anytime – follow these simple steps to be prepared:


Before an earthquake

  • Plan!  Prepare a household emergency plan and emergency survival kit so that you can cope on your own for three days or more.
  • Identify safe places in your home, school or workplace.  For example, somewhere close to you, under a strong table, next to an interior wall.
  • Check your household insurance policy is up to date.
  • Get advice to make sure your house is secured to its foundations and that any renovations comply with the NZ Building Code. 
  • Secure heavy or precious items to the floor or wall.

For more information on what to plan for, visit the Earthquake Commission.


During an earthquake

  • Inside a building?  Move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold.
  • Outside? Move no more than a few steps, drop, cover and hold.
  • Driving?  Always pull over and stop.
  • At the beach or near the coast?  Drop, cover and hold.  Then move to higher ground immediately in case a Tsunami follows the earthquake.

 Drop, cover and hold during an earthquake

After an earthquake

  • Expect aftershocks – they will happen.
  • Help – assist those around you if you can.
  • If you’re inside a damaged building – try to get outside if you can – find a safe open place.
  • Do not go sightseeing! 
  • Can you smell gas?  Turn off the gas main outside the building – but only if it is safe to do so.
  • Can you see sparks or broken wires?  Turn off the electricity at the main fuse box – but only if it is safe to do so.
  • Is your property damaged? Take notes and photographs for insurance purposes.
  • Listen to the radio or use this website for information an advice. 

The Earthquake Commission offers more detail with regards to insurance.