Happy Holidays, and New Year earthquakes

Published: Wed Jan 4 2023 11:55 AM

The team at GeoNet would like to wish everyone happy holiday season and, with this morning’s Te Aroha earthquakes being a good reminder, to be prepared no matter where you are enjoying Aotearoa New Zealand this summer.

A M5.1 earthquake occurred at 5:39AM on Wed 4 Jan, 5km south of Te Aroha. We received over 20,000 felt reports from this event which was followed by a moderate aftershock of M3.9 at 11:29AM. Both earthquakes occurred in a similar location to the M3.9 quake on Thursday 29 Dec, near the Kerepehi Fault which is part of the Hauraki rift zone.

Felt reports from the M5.1 Te Aroha earthquake

Felt reports from the M5.1 Te Aroha earthquake

Although in an area of low seismicity – with only six earthquakes larger than M3 occurring between Tauranga and Hamilton in the last ten years – there has been strong shaking in the past with a M4.9 earthquake in Te Aroha in 1972.

What next? When an earthquake occurs there is always a small possibility that a larger earthquake will follow, however the most likely scenario is that there will be a number of smaller aftershocks which will taper off with time.

Keeping an eye on earthquakes, volcanoes and news on the go.

No matter where the holidays take you, the GeoNet App will keep you updated on earthquakes, volcanoes and geohazard news. Our app gives details of all earthquakes located in and around New Zealand within a few minutes of their occurrence. You can set up notifications of earthquakes close to your current location (using your phone’s GPS), or you can set up alerts for multiple locations and earthquake intensities around the country.

You can also read our latest news and keep updated on volcanic activity on the app, and for our technical users you can view peak ground accelerations (PGA) and velocities (PGV) recorded by our seismograph network on a map.

Download it now on your Android and iOS devices:

Google Play for Android

The App Store for Apple

GNS Science’s National Geohazards Monitoring Centre (NGMC) remains staffed and monitoring geological hazards 24/7 throughout the holiday period. They are supported by teams of scientists and experts who are on-call should any geological events occur.

Going to the beach?

If you are off to the beach this summer you can now easily see if your favourite holiday spot is in a tsunami evacuation zone thanks to our friends at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Just put in your address or click a spot on the map and you will see if you are in tsunami evacuation zone, and what to do if there is a tsunami. It also links you to the local Civil Defence group for more tsunami information. Click here to check it out.

Tsunami evacuation zones for Waitārere Beach.

Tsunami evacuation zones for Waitārere Beach.

They also have a handy Get Summer Ready page with all the info you need to get summer ready.

Staying at home?

If you have a list of jobs to get done around the house this summer, now is a great time to check out Toka Tū Ake EQC's website for information on how to get your home, apartment, or rental prepared for a natural disaster.

We can’t prevent natural hazards, but we can, and should, be prepared for them.

Earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Zealand at any time. Drop, Cover, and Hold during a large earthquake. If it is Long and Strong, Get Gone! If you are near the coast or a lake and if you feel a Long or Strong earthquake, or receive an emergency mobile alert for a tsunami, Get Gone to higher ground, or as far inland as possible immediately.

During volcanic activity, follow official advice provided by your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

Want to get prepared?

For information on preparing for earthquakes or responding to volcanic activity, there are guidelines from the National Emergency Management Agency's Get Ready website.

Prepare your home. Protect your whānau.

There’s a lot we can do to make our homes safer and stronger for natural disasters. Toka Tū Ake EQC’s website has key steps to get you started.

All right? / Not All Right?

We all need a bit of support from time-to-time, and if you or someone you know is struggling, there is  free help available. Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You can also call Lifeline on 0800 543354 or text HELP to 4357.

Media contact: 021 574 541 or