A service to commemorate the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake has observed a minute's silence to remember the 258 people who died.
The shallow magnitude 7.8 quake struck at 10.46am on February 3 1931, and at that time on Monday morning a bell tolled and a minute's silence was observed at an open-air ceremony in Hastings.
George Foulds, who was 11 years old at the time, was among those at the commemorations.
Mr Foulds says the first thing he remembers after the quake was a massive cloud of dust over Hastings and the school teacher telling him to make his own way home through the rubble.
He says unlike in Christchurch, survivors had to fend for themselves, and did not have the benefit of outside aid in the days that followed.
Mr Foulds says they slept outside for two months following the quake.
The mayors of Napier and Hastings also attended Monday's service. Lone bagpipers walked from both ends of the Hastings CBD to the clocktower to begin the service, and wreaths were laid to remember the dead.
A karakia signalled the end of the ceremony. Bagpipes then played as people left their seats to march to the Hastings clocktower, where the names of all the victims of the earthquake are engraved.