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Living with volcanoes

City of volcanoes

Pukekawa is one of 53 volcanic centres that have erupted in the Auckland region in the last 200,000 years – The largest and most recent eruption was Rangitoto, only about 600 years ago.

Auckland Museum is built on the crater of Pukekawa– the hill of bitter tears.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

It is thought that Auckland’'s volcanoes first began to appear around 200,000 years ago, starting with the eruptions of Onepoto Domain and Pupuke. In the City itself, the oldest eruption sites are probably the Domain and Albert Park volcanoes.

Which brings us to an interesting point: living on an active volcanic field may not sound like a very bright thing to do, but volcanoes are actually a big part of Auckland’'s success as a city. Volcanic soil is fertile; volcanic rocks are sturdy building materials and form natural water reservoirs. And, last but not least, volcanoes are beautiful.

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    Auckland was known to Maori as ‘Tamaki Makau Rau’ (Tamaki-desired-by-many or Tamaki of 100 lovers) and was fought over for centuries. And no wonder that one third of all New Zealanders live here today.

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  • City on the spot

    Auckland’s volcanoes are powered by a ‘hot spot’ deep beneath the surface.

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  • Rangitoto Island

    Rangitoto is Auckland’'s largest and youngest volcano – erupting out of the sea about 600 years ago and creating one of Auckland’'s most striking features.

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  • Not If, but when

    First, the good news: the odds are that a volcanic eruption won'’t occur in Auckland during your lifetime.

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  • Research

    The Earthquake Commission supports both research and public education in relevant areas of natural hazards science.

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