20 Aug 2018

Māori oral histories used for Chathams' tsunami preparedness

From Nine To Noon, 9:40 am on 20 August 2018
Remanent of a European house at Tupuangi destroyed by the 1868 tsunami

Remanent of a European house at Tupuangi destroyed by the 1868 tsunami Photo: Kristie-Lee Thomas

150 years after a devastating tsunami hit the shores of the Chatham Islands and lessons are still being learnt. In what is believed to be the only recorded instance of a tsunami causing deaths in New Zealand in historic times, the tsunami, known as the Arica earthquake, arrived at Chathams in the early hours of 15th August 1868.

Now using māori oral histories, previously undocumented insights have been revealed, and are being put to good use.

Researcher and Chatham Islands local Kristie-Lee Thomas has been investigating and speaks with Lynn Freeman.

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