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Everything we need to survive' in marae-based emergency pods

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

As flooding becomes more frequent and the threat looms of the Alpine Fault rupturing, 24 marae in the South Island are getting prepared.

Emergency pods worth tens of thousands of dollars are being installed and equipped with essential items, all funded by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Puni Kōkiri.

When the Christchurch earthquake hit in 2011, Ngā Hau e Whā in Aranui became a home for those who had been displaced.

Norm Dewes from the marae said: "We had at least 26 Crown agencies all collaborating coordinating and cooperating from the one depot and it made it easy for the community and for the people who required assistance."

But now they're stacking up in case there's another big disaster.

Ross Paniora from Te Puni Kōkiri said a lot of different supplies are included.

"There's food, medicine, clothes, water, tea and coffee. You can see there, a power generator, plus everything else inside. There's food supplies for pets too and everything else people need to survive."

The refurbished shipping containers are being rolled out across Te Waipounamu, from Bluff to Kaikōura.

They were used in Hawke's Bay after Cyclone Gabrielle hit, but now Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is taking heed, given the South Island's Alpine Fault has a high probability of rupturing within the next 50 years.

David Ormsby from Te Puni Kōkiri said the containers will be provisioned to cater for each individual marae.

"Some marae might need more preparations for earthquakes, others for flooding."

He added the pods will help the marae be prepared, rather than be "ambushed" by a natural disaster.

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