Updated and user-friendly tsunami evacuation maps are available for Northlanders living near the region's 3200km of coastline.

People are advised to familiarise themselves with the new set of maps that replace earlier ones. The maps show the areas most at risk and provide safe zones to head to in the event of a tsunami.

The updated version allows users to enter their address to go directly to the relevant location on the maps, which can also be exported, saved and printed.

Northland Regional Council member Rick Stolwerk, who is on the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, said the previous tsunami zones for Northland were created by GNS Science in 2011.


GNS Science was re-commissioned last year to develop updated zones, making use of advances in the science of modelling tsunami, along with high-quality land surface data.

Mr Stolwerk urged Northlanders to refresh their understanding of the tsunami risk and evacuation routes.

"All of New Zealand's coastline is at risk of tsunami, and given that so many Northlanders love spending time on the coast, it's important to spend some time learning how to reduce that risk," he said.

First and foremost was knowing the natural warning signs of a local source tsunami which could arrive without time for any official warning.

"If people are on the coast and experience a long or strong earthquake, change in sea level or loud or unusual noises coming from the sea, they should move inland or to high ground without waiting for further information," Mr Stolwerk said.

"It's also a good time to think about aspects such as having multiple alerting options and sources of information, and how to let friends and neighbours know in the event of a tsunami warning."

The free Hazard app for smartphones and the Civil Defence Northland Facebook page were examples of alerts options and information sources.

Meanwhile, Northland's network of 171 tsunami sirens remains the largest in New Zealand and is expanded every year.

Additional budget was allocated this year after last November's Kaikoura earthquake and the consequent tsunami warning.

The new maps are at www.nrc.govt.nz/evacuatenow and the Hazard app www.nrc.govt.nz/cdalert.