Very few seaside Napier hotels and motels prepare their guests on how to evacuate in the event of a tsunami, Civil Defence says.

Civil Defence Hawke's Bay emergency management advisor Marcus Hayes-Jones said both hotels and motels should at least make guests aware of health and safety risks - in Napier's case earthquakes and tsunamis.

"Accommodation has to have fire safety procedures on the wall and if you have a public space in a danger zone for tsunamis then I think by law, there should be a tsunami warning on the wall as well," Hayes-Jones said.

"Most tourists are aware, because that's the main reason they come to Napier, with the history of the earthquake and all, but not all are."


The key message GNS Science and Hawke's Bay Civil Defence are pushing about earthquakes is "if it's long or strong get gone".

"Most of these hotels are in the CBD so it would be fairly simple procedure, but as far as I'm aware there's very few that have actually done it."

Hayes-Jones said the Kaikoura earthquake had sent 2000 people fleeing to the top of Bluff Hill and another 2000 in Poraiti.

"It sounds like a lot, but when there should be 40,000 people up there, the number is quite woeful.

Hayes-Jones said the evacuation process didn't need to be a frightening or negative experience for the hospitality industry.

"Because Napier is such a beautiful city and it's so tourist orientated, people come here for Art Deco and their understanding of the earthquake."

"I think lack of knowledge is more scary than 'okay I'm aware of that now, so if I feel a quake, I can just get up and go', that makes more sense than the 'everything will be fine' approach."

Hawke's Bay regional Civil Defence emergency management group manager Ian Macdonald said hotels and motels had a responsibility under health and safety legislation.


"It's just like having a fire drill or having an evacuation for a fire, they need to consider all their hazards.

"We've worked with the hospitality association about this and they hold workshops and provide all sorts of information around safety procedures."

A Hospitality NZ spokesperson said it is up to individual accommodation providers to implement procedures in relation to warnings and the quickest evacuation route.

"Hospitality New Zealand encourages and supports members to keep up to date with, and ensure they comply with civil defence guidelines, in relation to the best and safest procedures relating to evacuation for earthquakes and Tsunami."