Media Releases

Surviving 7.8 - Phil Pennington

Released at 8:44 am on 28 February 2017

Yes, Wellington, we are undergoing a fairly dense earthquake at the moment…this is long and rolling and getting worse…’ *

Just after midnight on November 14th, last year, the world’s second most powerful quake of 2016 struck under the North Canterbury hills.

RNZ reporter, Phil Pennington, was in the first team of reporters sent by RNZ to the heart of the damage zone. He and other members of the reporting team arrived in Kaikoura just hours after the disaster. Their live reports were essential as audiences in New Zealand and around the world tried to grasp the magnitude of what had occurred.

A new book, Surviving 7.8, to be published on Wednesday 1st March, is Phil Pennington’s account of how the disaster unfolded.

It is told through the words of RNZ reporters who covered the quake, transcribed interviews with dozens of people who endured it – from Kaikoura, North Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington – together with those who sought our RNZ’s social media platforms for updates, news and support.

RNZ CEO, Paul Thompson, said the publication underlined the importance of RNZ’s responsibilities as an essential lifeline in the event of a civil defence emergency.

“In an event like that experienced in Kaikoura, our role in the effective delivery of public information is critical. Accurate reporting supports emergency response and recovery, and by providing timely information we can ensure that members of the public take appropriate actions to protect themselves and others.”

Surviving 7.8 is a record of one of the most significant events in New Zealand history, and it is a summary of some of the most important and conclusive journalism produced for radio and digital platforms in New Zealand.

SURVIVING 7.8: New Zealanders respond to the earthquakes of November 2016
By Phil Pennington, Radio New Zealand
HarperCollins Publishers
RRP $35 | publication date 1 March 2017

Sales from this book will support the New Zealand Red Cross Kaikoura Earthquake 2016 appeal.

*RNZ Presenter Vicki McKay 12:02am 14 November 2016.