Tsunami siren testing for Auckland's Rodney coastline took place at noon today, setting off 44 different sirens.
Auckland Civil Defence controller Clive Manly said the drill was a success as all the "sirens operated correctly and there was good coverage of the areas concerned." He estimated roughly 10,000 to 20,000 people would have been in the Rodney district to hear the siren test.
People were not expected to follow evacuation protocol for the drill, which Mr Manly said was "more about reminding people to think about what they needed to do should a disaster occur."
He said a total of six neighbourhood watch programs took part in the drill.
The sirens sounded three different tone patterns, each of which indicate a different action depending on the seriousness of a tsunami threat.
Mr Manly said people could be confused about what the different patterns meant, but that "any listeners should look for more information through radio, television and anyone from their neighbourhood if they hear any type of siren."
If people are required to move to higher ground immediately, sirens will sound short continuous bursts for 15 minutes.
To signal a less significant threat requiring only the evacuation of people from beaches and preparation for full evacuation, sirens will sound short and long bursts. To indicate the passing of a tsunami threat, sirens will sound a continuous tone (beep) for 5 minutes.
The siren tests occur twice a year when daylight saving changes.