Students set to ShakeOut as nationwide earthquake drill launched

  • Hon Peeni Henare
Civil Defence

Civil Defence Minister Minister Peeni Henare officially launched New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, at Te Papa’s new earthquake house today.

“New Zealand ShakeOut earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi is a great opportunity for all New Zealanders to learn the correct actions to take during an earthquake and tsunami,” Peeni Henare said. 

New Zealand has had three nationwide ShakeOut campaigns, in 2012, 2015 and 2018. They have been so successful, attracting hundreds of thousands of participants, that they are now an annual exercise.

Mr Henare says a new ShakeOut website – - has also been launched to make signing up as easy as possible.

“The new ShakeOut website will make it easy for everyone to sign up to take part in the drill and take steps to get prepared.”

“By practising ShakeOut every year, knowing what to do will become second nature when an earthquake or tsunami does happen.”

Mr Henare says tamariki lead the way in partipating in ShakeOut.

“We want to see all New Zealand children taking part in the drill, as they will become the new generation of prepared New Zealanders and encourage their wh­ānau to be prepared too,” Peeni Henare said.

In previous ShakeOuts, schools, kōhanga reo, kura, and early childhood centres made up over half the participants. The new website has lesson plans, colouring pages and a online games to encourage preparedness at home and at school.

New Zealand ShakeOut is based on the highly successful California ShakeOut which began in 2008 and has now spread to numerous other US states and countries such as Canada and Japan.

All learning institutions are encouraged to sign up, hold a Drop, Cover and Hold drill, and plan a tsunami hīkoi if they are in a tsunami zone. Families, individuals, businesses and other organisations are also encouraged to take part.

Mr Henare says New Zealand ShakeOut has become an annual event that helps to ensure everyone knows and practises the correct action to take in an earthquake and tsunami.

The New Zealand ShakeOut 2019 drill and tsunami hīkoi, is taking place on Thursday 17 October 2019 at 1.30pm.

To sign up and get more information, go to .

Notes for editors

Who’s behind New Zealand ShakeOut 2019?

New Zealand ShakeOut 2019 is coordinated by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM) along with local and central government organisations, emergency and lifeline services and the private sector.

Part of What’s the Plan Stan

While promoting New Zealand ShakeOut 2019 to schools, the Ministry is also encouraging them to use What’s the Plan, Stan?  the online resource for teaching emergency preparedness in primary schools, throughout the year.

Registering for New Zealand ShakeOut 2019

Signing up at will only take a couple of minutes.  As well as being counted, you’ll be kept up to date with how to get ready to drop, cover and hold, and plan your tsunami hīkoi, at 1.30pm on 17 October 2019.