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Our name

From 1 July 2024 we'll no longer be known as the Earthquake Commission (EQC) Toka Tū Ake. With the introduction of the Natural Hazards Act we'll become Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake.

Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake

We have changed our name to better represent the role our scheme plays in supporting New Zealanders.

The change to our name was recommended by the Public Inquiry into EQC, which noted the organisation’s name should reflect that our scope extends to delivering insurance and expertise for a range of natural hazards – not just earthquakes.

Natural Hazards Commission will sit alongside our te reo Māori name – Toka Tū Ake – meaning ‘the foundation from which we stand strong, together’. Both names acknowledge the role we have in supporting New Zealand to both prepare for and recover from natural hazard events when they occur.

Toka Tū Ake

The foundation from which we stand strong, together

Toka: (noun) rock, large stone, boulder

Tū: (verb) to stand, take place, set in place, establish

Ake: (particle) to raise upwards

Toka Tū Ake expresses an age-old truth that the best way to be prepared for adversity is for communities to come together to share their knowledge and resources as support for one another.

Our land is constantly changing from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and floods. Communities have lived alongside those perils for hundreds of years, and Māori have always believed the relationship and connection of people to land and nature is inseparable. 

Our experience and understanding of the natural hazards facing Aotearoa New Zealand is growing constantly; together we can mitigate their impact on our people, their property and their quality of life.

Embodying who we are and our role in Aotearoa New Zealand, our new name Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake reflects our role as a partner to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as well as our shared responsibility with tangata whenua for kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection) of people and places impacted by natural hazards. 

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The story of Rūaumoko

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


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.