ShakeOut - Wellington Region Led by Example

11 October 2012

People in the Wellington region can slap each other on the back and say well done following today's news that we had the country's highest per-capita participation rate in New Zealand ShakeOut.

The nationwide earthquake drill - in which more than 1.3 million people are estimated to have taken part - was held at 9.26am on Wednesday 26 September.

Some 173,000 people in the Wellington region signed up to practise 'drop, cover, hold' - 35.96 percent of the region's population. Figures released today by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management showed that Wellington's participation was the highest in the country.

The Auckland region was second, with 30.68 percent participation and the Hawkes Bay region was third with 30.34 percent.

Kapiti Coast District Mayor Jenny Rowan and Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown say people in the region should be proud of their collective efforts.

Mayor Rowan - who chairs the Wellington Region Civil Defence Group - says the figures show that people around the region are well-educated about what to do to protect themselves in the event of a big quake.

"It's reassuring to see that so many people know the area could be hit by a big shake at any time. People are serious about being prepared."

Mayor Wade-Brown says she is particularly pleased at the very high participation by schools and early childhood centres. "It is so important to get youngsters learning early about what they have to do - the 'drop, cover, hold' message has got through."

Bruce Pepperell, the Manager of the Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO), says the region's leading participation rate is excellent news - but that it should by no means lead to a sense of complacency.

"Everyone should take this issue seriously - and everyone should have an emergency plan for their homes, schools and workplaces."