Pompeii trip winner announced!
Congratulations to Shirley and Ross Tyson from Waikato, the winners of the VisaEntertainment competition for a trip to Italy.
Pompeii and the Earthquake Commission
At the time of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD, New Zealand was yet to be visited let alone inhabited by humans. But volcanic activity had already left its mark on the landscape.
Around 26,500 years ago the enormous Ōruanui eruption covered much of the central North Island with up to 200 metres of ignimbrite, produced about 1,200 km3 of pumice and ash and formed the caldera basin now known as Lake Taupō.
Scientists believe that another eruption of the nature and scale of Ōruanui is unlikely. The next Taupō event of consequence is most likely to be a small-to-medium-sized explosive eruption. But even a ‘small’ event at Taupō will be very destructive and disruptive to human life and activity throughout the North Island.
In the 1940s the Government was sufficiently concerned about New Zealand’s vulnerability to natural disasters to not only have emergency services available to respond, but also to look at what could help people recover from them.
Thus it formed the predecessor of today’s Earthquake Commission (EQC) – the Earthquake and War Damage Commission – to provide insurance for New Zealanders’ homes and their contents. Today war damage cover has gone and cover for volcanic eruption, tsunami, landslip and hydrothermal activity has been added.
Since its inclusion in EQC’s scheme, volcanic damage to homes has been rare. The insurance has only been called on following the minor eruptions of Mt Ruapehu in September 1995 and June 1996, when 215 claims were made. However, our mountains won’t stay quiet forever.
In addition to providing insurance, EQC supports research and education on natural disasters and ways of reducing their impact. Its 12-year relationship with Te Papa and the Awesome Forces exhibition, and now A Day in Pompeii, is a vital part of its public education programme.
A Day in Pompeii provides EQC with an ideal opportunity to remind people that, should an eruption damage their home, the Earthquake Commission will be there to help people to rebuild their homes and move on with their lives.
For more information on the role of EQC and on preparing for volcanic eruptions and the other natural disasters it covers, visit our websites (www.eqc.govt.nz and www.eq-iq.co.nz).
GNS Science is a government-owned research organisation offering the best independent scientific and technical advice in earth sciences and isotope technology. Alongside EQC, GNS Science's expertise, research, and materials were used to develop the concepts and content of Te Papa’s Awesome Forces and Quake Breaker exhibitions. GNS Science staff have a regular phsyical presence at Te Papa through the 'scientists in residence programme'.
GNS Science is one of Te Papa’s Founding Partners, and their support of A Day in Pompeii extends to content development, as well as expert contributions to the extensive education and events programmes.
Wellington City Council is responsible for a wide variety of activities and services including delivering high-quality infrastructure, community services, libraries, recreation and arts facilities and maintaining the city’s parks and reserves. It also takes pride in supporting Wellington’s status as an accessible, vibrant, creative capital city. Wellington City Council helps our city achieve economic growth and an improved quality of life for all Wellingtonians and visitors to the city. As a Founding Partner, the Council supports all of Te Papa’s major short-term exhibitions - including A Day in Pompeii.