A new and chilling video has been released warning of the anticipated "megathrust" earthquake which may strike near the eastern coast of the North Island.

The first Hikurangi Response Plan educational video features practical tips on how to better prepare for a large earthquake and tsunami.

The four-minute clip has been prepared by East Coast LAB (Life at the Boundary), a programme trying to educate the public, especially those living on the coast near the Hikurangi plate boundary.

It warns New Zealand sits on a subduction zone similar to Japan, and people should be prepared for the next large earthquake and tsunami.

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Hikurangi Response Plan Project Lead, Natasha Goldring, said the 'big one' is not a matter of if, but when.

But everyone could make themselves more resilient to natural hazards like this.

"While emergency managers are working to develop a response plan to such an event, we want people to make a household emergency plan, practise their drop, cover, and their tsunami hikoi, and become involved in their community resilience planning," Goldring said.

New Zealand sits on a subduction zone similar to Japan, and people should be prepared for the next large earthquake and tsunami.
New Zealand sits on a subduction zone similar to Japan, and people should be prepared for the next large earthquake and tsunami.

Five Civil Defence Emergency Management groups from across the North Island's east coast – Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti (Gisborne), Hawke's Bay, Manawatū -Whanganui, and Wellington – are working with East Coast Life at the Boundary (LAB) to develop the Hikurangi Response Plan.

The emergency plan will set out how Civil Defence, in the areas most likely to be affected, will respond to a future Hikurangi subduction zone earthquake and tsunami.

Scientists have developed a credible magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami scenario, which will be used to determine potential impacts, response priorities and resource requirements.

Goldring said it can appear overwhelming but the Hikurangi Response Plan team hoped the educational video would encourage people to make household emergency plans, and motivate them to practising their drills.

"Practise your drop, cover and hold, and tsunami hīkoi to high ground or inland by foot or bike.

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"We know that practising these two things works as it helped save more than 95 per cent of people who safely evacuated in time in the 2011 Japan tsunami."

Goldring said the project is driven by civil defence emergency management groups but everyone needed to work together to prepare for future events.

"We want to spark informed and practical conversations about what kiwis will do if they have to evacuate, can't get home, have no power, phone or internet".