There is a 15% chance of a major earthquake hitting Wellington in the next 50 years, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency has told the Government in a briefing paper.
The Earthquake Commission's estimates a major quake in the capital would leave 600 dead, and 4,000 injured.
The briefing paper says residential property claims would total about $6 billion.
It says there is a 20% chance of a major earthquake on the South Alpine Fault Line in the next 20 years.
Eruptions in the next 50 years were also tipped for Mount Taranaki, with a 4% chance of a volcanic eruption in Auckland.