Kaikoura's Mayor says the town already has evacuation plans in place if a massive tsunami was to strike.
His comments come as NIWA researches the likelihood and impact of a 13-metre tsunami as a result of an underwater landslide in the Kaikoura Canyon.
Winston Gray says the Civil Defence message to residents will stay the same: if you feel a large quake, head to higher ground.
"In the area that the report's talking about, South Bay, none of that land would be more than 100m from the bank where you can climb straight up and get 100m up the top of the hill. So it's not a big distance to evacuate to."
Mr Gray says the council will take the findings of NIWA's research into account, and may put up warning signs and sirens around the coast.