30 Jul 2012

Tuwharetoa knows when to evacuate - marae chairman

7:04 pm on 30 July 2012

The chairman of Otukou marae near Mount Tongariro, where seismic activity has been reported, says through generations his people have learnt when it's necessary to evacuate if there's a disaster.

GNS Science has recorded more than 20 volcanic earthquakes since the middle of July, which it says could signal a future eruption.

Te Ngaehe Wanikau says the activity is just his ancestor grumbling.

In te reo, he says his elders have taught Ngati Tuwharetoa when to vacate if a disaster hits.

He says when the mountain blows, the people are up and off.

Hei tāna i maumahara ai a ki tētehi kōrero nā tōna matua, mehemea ka patero [paahu] ngā maunga, ka piki te iwi.

Mr Wanikau says the Department of Conservation will also continue to monitor activity.