Kauraka e Mataku, Kia Takatū!

Don't be scared, be prepared!

A large Alpine Fault earthquake happening in our lifetimes is no doubt a scary thought! While we can’t predict when it will happen, we can work together to be better prepared for it by sharing our mātauranga (knowledge), science and experiences of past earthquakes and emergencies, to raise awareness, build understanding and strengthen our relationships. The better connected we are beforehand, the easier it will be to support each other during and after. 

The AF8 Programme and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu co-produced this short film telling the story of the Alpine Fault. It weaves cultural narratives with western science to remind us what the many large earthquakes on the Alpine Fault over the past millions of years have given us – the foundations for the beautiful landscapes of Te Waipounamu (South Island), and also build understanding of what the next large earthquake could take away and challenge us with – so that we can all take action to be better prepared.

Join the Manawatu whānau as they travel to Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) to explore stories of the Alpine Fault and our whenua, find out what it means for our future and how we can work together to share our knowledge, prepare our homes and protect our whānau.

Kauraka e Mataku, Kia Takatū! Don't be scared, be prepared!

According to Ngāi Tahu creation stories, earthquakes are caused by Rūaumoko, the son of Ranginui (the Sky Father) and his wife Papatūanuku (the Earth Mother). Māori had experienced rū whenua, which means ‘the shaking of the land’ for centuries. The Alpine Fault is the longest naturally forming straight line on earth. It marks the meeting of two large tectonic plates and has formed over millions of years, stretching longer, lifting our landscape up out of the ocean, and creating the peaks of Kā Tiritiri o te Moana (Southern Alps) with every large earthquake it generates.

Science tells us that Rūaumoko rumbles the Alpine Fault about every 300 years, and the last time was in 1717. These big earthquakes have been happening for millions of years and the next one is not a case of if but when. The next large Alpine Fault earthquake will be long and strong and significantly alter the landscape of Te Waipounamu as we know it. Landslides, liquefaction, river changes, flooding tsunami and aftershocks are all likely. 

When Rūaumoko decides to move the Alpine Fault again it could disrupt all our lifelines, electricity, roads and communications, making it harder for us to connect and support each other.

Prepare the home, protect the whānau.

The next large Alpine Fault earthquake will challenge us. It will take time to understand the impact and for the emergency response to reach everyone. Communities may need to be self-sufficient and work together to keep each other safe. Preparing your home and your whānau for any emergency is the best way to keep everyone calm, safe and comfortable. Before an earthquake hits, here are some tips to prepare and protect your home and whānau:

  • Remove or secure objects that could cause injuries during the shaking (eg. TVs, furniture, brick chimneys)
  • Prepare enough food, water and supplies to be able to look after yourselves, in your community for 7-14 days.
  • Talk with friends and neighbours about being better prepared for an earthquake. Are there ways you can support each other?
  • Make an emergency plan with your whānau, practice it and share it with friends and neighbours.
  • Have a getaway/go-bag ready in case you need to be evacuated.
  • Find out about natural hazards in your area and how to keep safe.

Kauraka e Mataku, Kia Takatū! is a co-production of Te Rūnaga o Ngāi Tahu Whānau & Emergency Response Team and the AF8 Programme.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Whanau & Emergency PreparednessAF8 Programme

Produced and directed by

Māui Studios


Executive Producers: Alice Lake-Hammond & Keela Atkinson-Cranwell
Production Company/Story: Māui Studios
Director/Producer: Patrick Hussey
DOP/Producer/Writer: Madison Henry-Ryan
Producer/Art/Production Coordinator: Shannon Thompson
1AC: John Ross
Gaffer/Grip: Ruslan Makeev
Gaffer/Grip: Chucky Prague
Sound: Tim Brott
Sound Assist: Kerepeti Paraone
Makeup: Simone Thurlow
Pou Tikanga: Maurice Manawatu
Editor: Madison Henry-Ryan
Accounts Manager: Luke Egan


Hine: Avatar Manawatu
Pōua: Henare Manawatu
Taua: Jan Manawatu
Mum: Kiri Williams-Manawatu
Dad: Taukiri Manawatu
Brother: Te Koha
Brother: Te Maia
Scientist: Kahurangi Mahuika
Neighbourhood Kids: Ace & Andre

E mihi atu ana ki te whānau o Manawatu


Māui Studios Additional Crew and Locations (Makers)
AF8 Programme, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu & South Island Emergency Management Groups (Funders)
Toka Tū Ake EQC (Co-Sponsorship)
Waewae Pounamu, Ngāi Tahu Showroom (Location)
Dee Henry, Tahu FM (Green Screen)
Joseph Hullen (Mana Whenua)
Kara Edwards (Ngāti Māhaki)
Ngāti Waewae
Christchurch Helicopters
Tara and Whānau (Location)
Out of Comfort (Art and Location)
John Ross DP (Additional Film Gear)
K1C Designs (Additional Film Gear)
Meteorite Hunters (Additional Film Gear)
Department of Conservation (Film Permit for Kura Tāwhiti)
Resonate (Pipe Dolly)
NZ Camera Hire (Dolly)
TES (Poles)

Kindly co-sponsored by

Toka Tū Ake EQC

Make Your Place Quake Safe – Quick and Easy Steps (Source Toka Tū Ake EQC)

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