The woman behind a petition calling for Papamoa and Mount Maunganui to get tsunami sirens has been blown away by the response.

At 3pm today the online petition had 3770 signatures.

Last night 2324 people had signed the petition.

"It's going crazy. Every time I check it has gone up by a few hundred," Renee Ball said.


The Papamoa mother was among many Tauranga residents who slept through the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence text alerts warning a tsunami could be on its way following Monday's powerful earthquake near Kaikoura.

"I didn't expect it to go as big as it has and so quickly but it just shows that so many people are behind it and wanting the same thing: Sirens," Mrs Ball said.

Read more: Fresh calls for sirens after tsunami scare

There were plenty of non-tech savvy people out there and those same people who were not alerted of tsunami evacuation by text messages probably did not know about the petition, she said.

"There will be a lot more people willing to get on board and sign if we were to go out and branch out of the internet."

Mrs Ball said individuals and communities could only do so much in emergencies and disasters to help each other.

"It's the council's job to do the things that are bigger than us as individuals. They need to put sirens in place, they have more power and the ability to make it happen."

She said the community would continue to do what it could to push council along: "I will keeping working to make it happen and voice what the community is saying."

There were siren systems in place all over the country and as an exposed area there was no excuse not to have them in place here, she said.

Mrs Ball's message to council was clear and simple: "Get it done."

Read more: Mount and Papamoa residents' earthquake terror

Tauranga City Council manager of emergency management Paul Baunton said the council was ready to renew conversations about alerting systems.

It was something it would need to address in conjunction with the work the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management was doing on public alert systems.

Tauranga City Council spent several years investigating tsunami siren systems, but changed course when it became apparent that the biggest tsunami that could hit our coastal suburbs would arrive before any sirens, or other alerting method, could be activated, Mr Baunton said.

"The council's immediate focus shifted instead towards making sure that people have safe areas to evacuate to and can get there. That work has progressed well over the last three years, so we are now ready to renew conversations about alerting systems."

Mr Baunton said since 2013, the council chose to invest in public education, evacuation routes and safe areas so people were able to escape a tsunami after a major earthquake.

A major earthquake was the first early warning that a tsunami could arrive at the Mount and Papamoa coast in 50 minutes.

"That is not enough time for official warnings. This is a worst-case tsunami that would cause mass fatalities, so this is the tsunami that the council has planned for the most," he said.

Mr Baunton said there were very real questions to resolve around night-time alerting.

"Now that the evacuation routes and infrastructure are nearly in place, the council can look towards the next phase of public safety, which would be how to alert the community about a tsunami that takes more than 50 minutes to arrive," he said.

Read more about the petition here: