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Making New Zealand Safer

In geological terms, New Zealanders live on the edge. Either on the edge of the Australian tectonic plate or the Pacific tectonic plate. As a consequence, we are exposed to one of the greatest levels of volcanic hazard on the planet and are highly vulnerable to earthquake activity.

The Wellington fault has a recurrence interval of 500 to 800 years for large earthquakes and last ruptured about 600 years ago The Alpine fault, which may rupture over a length of 450km, has recurrence intervals of 100 to 300 years and last ruptured about 270 years ago.

Yet our seismic surveillance network is fragmented and inadequate.

Something needs to be done. Something is being done.

Details will be announced tomorrow at a launch attended by Finance Minister Michael Cullen, Civil Defence Minister George Hawkins, Science and Technology Minister Pete Hodgson, Earthquake Commission Chairperson Neville Young and Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd Chairperson Derek Milne.

When: 11.10am, 22 February

Where: Rangimarie Room, Level 3, Te Papa

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