Civil Defence in our Region

Civil Defence is not one agency coming to the rescue, but a coordinated multi-agency response to emergencies within our region. These agencies include the Emergency Services, Defence Force, local city and district councils, Horizons Regional Council, health boards, and lifeline agencies such as power, gas and telecommunications companies. This response is coordinated by the Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MWCDEM) Group, which is managed by Horizons Regional Council's Emergency Manager.

The Manawatū-Whanganui CDEM Group works together to reduce the potential effects of hazards; promote community and Council readiness (preparedness) to respond to emergencies; and help the community to recover after an event.

This page is dedicated to providing useful information for preparing for an emergency – in particular a major earthquake or tsunami threat.

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Get Ready

Wherever you are, have a plan to ensure you're prepared for whatever emergency hits. You'll need a plan for if you're at work, or home, or at school. Check out Get Ready to learn about the different types of natural disasters New Zealand is likely to experience, how to get prepared for wherever you may be, and how to get involved. 

Get ready for an emergency with these handy documents:

Emergency Kit Shopping List
Protect your animals in an emergency
Civil Defence Radio Stations

Get ready for an emergency



Tsunami Information Guide

If you are in a coastal area and experience an earthquake that goes on for longer than a minute or makes it hard to stand up, or the sea behaves abnormally, leave immediately for high ground. Do not wait for an official evacuation notice - tsunamis can arrive within minutes and without warning. If there is a tsunami threat that allows time for evacuation notices, these will come from your local council. To find out what the official tsunami evacuation procedures are for your area please contact your local council.  

Tsunami Signage

Signage displaying information about tsunamis and at risk areas have been erected in all coastal communities across the region. The signs and the information contained within them are the responsibility of the local district council so please contact them directly if you have any specific questions.

Ruapehu District Council  - 07 895 8188 
Rangitīkei District Council - 0800 422 522
Whanganui District Council - 06 349 0001
Manawatū District Council - 06 323 0000
Palmerston North City Council - 06 356 8199
Tararua District Council - 06 374 4080
Horowhenua District Council - 06 366 0999

Below you will find evacuation maps for each populated area. The west coast area maps also show the designated safe zones. If you live in one of these communities, or are planning on visiting one of these beaches, we suggest familiarising yourself with the maps which you can click to open and save. Please remember that nearly all of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and all of our coastline is at risk of tsunami, if you are near the coast and there is a long or strong earthquake, evacuate to higher ground immediately.

Mowhanau Evacuation Zone

Whanganui Evacuation Zone

Koitiata Evacuation Zone

Scotts Ferry Evacuation Zone

Tangimoana Evacuation Zone

Himatangi Beach Evacuation Zone

Foxton Beach Evacuation Zone

Waitarere Evacuation Zone

Hokio Beach Evacuation Zone

Waikawa Beach Evacuation Zone

Akitio Evacuation Zone

Herbertville Evacuation Zone