Newspaper Article 1988 – Napier pre-1931 Earthquake

Classroom today   complied by Rod Dowling

Napier pre-1931 Earthquake

A Hawke’s Bay Herald-Tribune Educational Project

At 10.46 am on February 3rd, 1931, Hawke’s Bay shuddered with the effects of a earthquake. Measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre onshore near Bay View, the earthquake killed 258 people, and lifted thousands of hectares up 2.3 metres. As a result, the landscape, settlement patterns, transport systems and general development of Hawke’s Bay were changed, and Scinde ‘Island’ ceased to exist. Classroom Today shows how Napier Hill was indeed surrounded by water to the south, (upper photograph) and north, (lower photograph). Thanks to Mr Stuart McKenzie.

Napier South


1.   Guys Hill Road
2.   Tutaekuri River (old course)
3.   Thackeray Street
4.   Carlyle Street
5.   Railway Station
6.   Old Terminus Hotel
7.   Catholic Church
8.   Wellesley Road
9.   Steam pumping station for waterworks
10.   Boatsheds (the only way by land to Taradale was via Awatoto along Meeanee Road)
11.   Now Catherine’s Restaurant
12.   Chaucer Road
13.   Recreation ground

Napier North 1911

1.   Campbell Street
2.   Coronation Street
3.   Watchman Island (still visible)
4.   Poraiti Hill
5.   The North British Freezing Works (dismantled in 1933 after earthquake damage, the works railway line and wharf can be seen at the end of Whakarire Street)
6.   Catholic Church
7.   These two houses can still be seen on the corner of Te Atu and Coronation Street
8.   Future Airport site
9.   H.M.S. Veronica berthed here to assist after the earthquake (commemorative bollard and plaque marks the spot)
10.   The Iron Pot

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Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

3 February 1988

Creator / Author

  • Rod Dowling


The Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today

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