Getting through major earthquakes by working together with science, communities, local and central governments.

The Wellington region’s unique and beautiful geography was created by major fault lines running through the landscape.

IT’S OUR FAULT studies the awesome forces that shape our region, and looks at how we prepare for and recover from earthquakes.

We work with communities, iwi, councils and government to help our region get through a major disaster.

Research Excellence


IT’S OUR FAULT studies Wellington’s faults to better understand earthquake hazards in our region. We work with people and communities to build plans and actions.

We also look at other hazards caused by earthquakes:

Working With Communities


IT’S OUR FAULT supports communities to keep themselves safe and get through disasters. We work closely with EQC and councils on activities like rainwater storage, tsunami safe zones and liquefaction guidelines.

Learning From Recent Earthquakes

He akoranga rū whenua o nā tata nei

New Zealand has experienced many significant earthquakes since the IT’S OUR FAULT programme began. Our experts look at how ground, slopes and buildings behaved during those quakes - and those insights are used to help Wellington plan for a major earthquake.

Take the Tour: Explore the Wellington Fault 

This tour takes you around the region to discover the Wellington Fault, from Wellington’s south coast to Upper Hutt’s Macaskill Lakes. It will show you the geological movement that Wellington has undergone in recent times, and the resilience of the region.


Island Bay Tsunami Safe Zones

All of Wellington’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. Tsunami blue lines indicate safe zones so people know where to evacuate safely after a long or strong earthquake. See how far you are from the nearest blue line.


Wrights Lookout Hill

Here, you have a brilliant, elevated view of the active Wellington Fault and surrounding landforms. See Wellington like you have never seen it before.


Te Papa

The Te Taiao | Nature exhibition at Te Papa tells the story of our land Aotearoa with interactive activities. Discover fossils, volcanoes, the new earthquake shake house, a tsunami tank and much more.


Harbour View Park Lookout

From this lookout the Wellington Fault runs just in front of you. You can see the Wellington motorway overbridge and Sky Stadium at Thorndon which are designed to withstand a major earthquake.


Williams Street Rise

Here you can see remains of a beach ridge near the Emerson Street intersection, formed by storms about 2,500 years ago and uplifted by earthquakes.


Mains Rock

On the edge of the Hutt River you can sometimes see the broken, fragmented rock and gritty clay of the Wellington Fault zone. Mains Rock is one of the few accessible places you can see the rocks of the fault itself.


Harcourt Park

One of the best places to see the surface topography of the Wellington Fault is at Harcourt Park. Walk along the Wellington Fault and see where it cuts across terraces created by the Hutt River.


Macaskill Lakes

These lakes are Wellington’s water storage and backup supply. They are built within 100 metres of the Wellington Fault but have been designed to withstand a strong earthquake.