Our building sits close to a major fault line on soft, reclaimed land – how do we keep our taonga
taongatreasuresMāori | noun and people safe?
To stabilise the site, 30-tonne weights were dropped on the ground 50,000 times – much to the dismay of nearby residents! Shock absorbers made of rubber and lead allow the building to move in earthquakes – up to half a metre in any direction.
In a major earthquake, Te Papa would be among the safer places in Wellington.
In a one-in-250-year earthquake, the building would be unharmed.
In a one-in-500-year earthquake, the building would need repairs.
In a one-in-2000-year earthquake (‘the big one’), the people and collections inside Te Papa would be safe, but the building might have to be demolished.