Natural Events

The 1918 Snowstorm

New Zealand was hit by a cold front from the Tasman Sea in July 1918. In Masterton, the first snow fell on the early morning of July 19 after a night of very violent westerly gales accompanied by heavy rain. By the early hours of the morning the wind had turned to the...

1942 Earthquake

Earthquakes were the last thing on most people's minds on 24 June 1942. The country was at war, and many households had their men in camps in New Zealand - soldiers were at Carterton, the Opaki racecourse and Solway Showgrounds. The Wairarapa was shaken by a sharp...

1904 – 1934 Earthquakes

Fifty years of shaking Wairarapa settlers were always alert to the dangers of earthquake. The country’s worst shake in historic times, in January 1855, had frightened the first generation of settlers, but things were not so bad for the next forty-nine years. Some...

Early Earthquakes

New Zealand sits right on the boundary of two giant tectonic plates – the Australian plate to the west, the Pacific plate to the east. These two plates grate against each other, slipping as they crash together, resulting in the active volcanism of the central plateau,...