24 Jul 2013

Cultural twist on quake safety drill

9:09 am on 24 July 2013

A Wellington Kohanga Reo has put a cultural twist on the way tamariki kohungahunga (pre-schoolers) respond to an earthquake.

Sunday's 6.5-magnitude quake that hit Wellington and Marlborough did not structurally affect Te Kohanga Reo o Ngaio.

A kaimahi at Te Kohanga Reo o Ngaio, Kimiora Bell, says tamariki are taught the same quake safety drill as any other school - but from a Maori perspective.

Ms Bell says the children like to yell out 'ruaumoko', the Maori god of earthquakes, when a quake strikes.

She says the kaimahi shout 'ru whenua' to tell the tamariki to get under their desks and into the turtle position.

Ms Bell says they are taught the story about how earthquakes are caused by ruaumoko moving around inside the womb of (Earth mother) Papatuanuku.