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Our Māori name

Our Māori name

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) in Te Reo Māori is Kōmihana Rūwhenua:

Kōmihana – commission

Rūwhenua – earthquake (rū – to shake or tremble; whenua – land)

We are in the early stages of building our cultural capability and familiarity with Te Ao Māori as we begin delivering on our aspirations over the next four years to strengthen our cultural capability.

On 16 March 2022, it was announced we will transition to a new name: Toka Tū Ake - Natural Hazards Commission. This name better reflects our unique insurance scheme, the range of natural hazards we cover and our expertise around those hazards.

Toka Tū Ake - Natural Hazards Commission also embodies our commitment to maturing our cultural capability, our role as a partner to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our shared responsibility with tangata whenua for kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection) of people and place impacted by natural hazards.

For now, we will continue to be known as EQC. The transition to our new name will occur over time and likely begin – in stages – from mid-2022.

The story of Rūaumoko

In Māori mythology, Rūaumoko is the god of earthquakes, volcanoes and geothermal activity.Ruamoko

In the beginning, Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother) were joined in such a strong embrace it created darkness. When their sons separated them to create light, Ranginui grieved so much for Papatūānuku that his tears flooded the land. Their sons turned Papatūānuku over so their parents would not face each other and see each other’s sorrow.

Rūaumoko is the youngest, unborn son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. He was turned toward the earth in his mother’s womb. His brothers gave him fire so he could warm himself in the darkness.

Being so closely tied with his mother, Rūaumoko felt her pain at the separation. When he stirs, he expresses his anger through geothermal currents, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

As we live alongside Rūaumoko’s rumblings and Ranginui’s tears, EQC’s role is to help make our homes stronger, ensure new homes are built on better land, and provide support when damage occurs.

Ruaumoko - the Mountain is Me

Learn more about Rūaumoko from Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru, who outlined his perspective of the forces that create volcanoes, earthquakes and landforms in New Zealand to  GNS Science in this four minute film. 

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