22 Aug 2012

Tongariro hapu wants better communication

12:45 pm on 22 August 2012

A Ngati Tuwharetoa hapu has begun asking government agencies monitoring Mt Tongariro to improve the way they deal with the sub-tribe.

When Tongariro erupted before midnight on 6 August, some residents near the base of the mountain voluntarily left their homes and stayed at Hirangi Marae in Turangi.

Te Runanga o Ngati Hikairo ki Tongariro spokesperson Bub Smith says the subtribe's evacuation plan worked well, but government agencies such as GNS Science need to improve the way they deliver information.

He says residents were first hearing information through the media, so there was fear among them when one news outlet distorted the truth by saying magma was rising from the volcano.

Mr Smith says the subtribe has started talking with state agencies to ensure they deal directly with tangata whenua.