The very Far North was not included in the initial tsunami warning issued for Northland's east coast early on Friday morning, but tsunami sirens were activated throughout Te Hiku, and people responded.
Constable Tim Murdock said the evacuation rate at Doubtless Bay was "pretty good," business closing and residents in lower areas heading for the hills. Some gathered on Tāipa Heights Drive, from where they had a clear view of the estuary, while a few parked at the top of the first hill on SH10 west of Tāipa and others waited it out on Parapara Rd.
Mayor John Carter told NewstalkZB that he was knocking on doors at Waipapakauri Ramp to ensure that everyone knew they should be evacuating. He said later that as far as he knew everyone had left, including a woman in a wheelchair, who had needed assistance.
He and others had taken refuge at Kareponia, east of Awanui.
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By that time the official warning had been extended to cover the Northland coast from Ahipara to Cape Rēinga and south to Whangārei.
Nearby Paparore School was evacuated, as were Awanui School, Kaitaia Intermediate and College, while children from Ahipara School and the Sandhoppers early childhood centre arrived at Eric and Sandra Shackleton's vineyard, Waitapu Estate, high on the hill between Pukepoto and Wainui Junction.