Skip navigation

Museum and Schools programme

Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake has strong and long-standing relationships with a number of museum and school partners. A key focus for this area of our outreach work is ‘raising the next generation of hazard-aware Kiwis’. By helping young New Zealanders understand the natural forces that have shaped our land, we hope to inspire students into future STEAM careers and build awareness of hazards and their impacts from the ground up.

Museum and schools programme v3

Te Papa Tongarewa

NHC Toka Tū Ake is a founding partner of the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington and we sponsor both exhibition spaces and school learning programmes.

Te Taiao | Nature(external link) is one of Te Papa’s newest exhibition areas. The exhibition’s Whakarūaumoko | Active Land section shows how plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and erosion have shaped our landscape – and the lives of the people who live here in Aotearoa. NHC Toka Tū Ake sponsors various interactive elements within Active Land, including visitor favourite the Earthquake House.

The Active Earth(external link) school education programme teaches important lessons about earthquake safety to children in a memorable way, including through a specially developed Minecraft ShakerMod.(external link)

Te Whakangāwari Rū | Quake Braker(external link) is an underground space that displays some of the 135 base isolators that Te Papa sits atop. Base isolators reduce the severity of shaking in the event of a major earthquake, so they’ll help keep  Te Papa’s precious taonga safe in a quake. The isolators are the invention of New Zealand scientist Dr Bill Robinson(external link) and are now in use in buildings around the world.

More than 2.5million people have visited Quake Braker since its opening.

Te papa

Auckland Museum

NHC Toka Tū Ake and Auckland Museum have a long-standing relationship that extends back to at least 2005, when Toka Tū Ake EQC approved sponsorship for the development and support of the Museum’s Volcanoes! exhibition.(external link)

Volcanoes! is an interactive experience that looks at the scientific and human stories of Aotearoa’s volcanoes. Visitors experience simulated environments, from deep-sea black smokers to a major eruption from Auckland’s active volcanic field.

The Volcanoes! outreach education programme(external link) provides an opportunity for thousands of Auckland students from year 1-8 to learn more about this fascinating natural hazard through interactive experiences and guided critical thinking.

Visit Auckland Museum's online Volcanoes exhibition(external link).


Quake City

Canterbury Museum’s Quake City exhibition(external link) charts the aftermaths of the 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011 earthquakes and the extraordinary response of the emergency services, international rescue teams, thousands of volunteers who pitched in to help – and the incredible resilience of Canterbury’s communities.

NHC Toka Tū Ake has sponsored Quake City since its opening. Our support helps ensure the stories from the Canterbury quakes continue to be told for visitors and locals alike and our funding has enabled a number of free entry weekends for Cantabrians. Quake City also forms part of Canterbury Museum’s school education programme. In the programme students discuss the geological processes that occurred during the Canterbury earthquakes, including the impact on the city and the social and technological responses.


LEARNZ/CORE Education virtual field trips

NHC Toka Tū Ake has sponsored a LEARNZ virtual field trip each year since 2009. The field trips have the aim of inspiring school students aged 9-12 to learn about geohazards, the risks they pose and how New Zealanders can live safely with our hazard risk. Thousands of Kiwi schoolchildren have taken part in the trips – all from the comfort of their classrooms.

The 14th online field trip is now available and helps students to digitally explore the impacts of past tsunami on Rēkohu Wharekauri/Chatham Islands(external link). These islands were selected as this year’s focus due to them being one of the first places in New Zealand likely to be affected by a distant-source tsunami generated by earthquakes in the South American subduction zone. The 2022 field trip has been supported by Massey University and GNS Science, and supports our work in raising the next generation of hazard-aware Kiwis.

Recent NHC Toka Tū Ake-sponsored field trips

Dr Graham Leonard, with GNS Science talking about tsunami as part of the LEARNZ field trip