New Zealand news: A tornado, a shark attack, a drought and an earthquake

Newspaper of New Zealand

We have spent the last 6 months in New Zealand and it has actually been a pretty crazy time in terms of New Zealand news – and it has all been a part of our New Zealand adventure. Lots of rare, quite unusual and unfortunately mostly tragic things have happened since we have been living over here.

This post focuses on just a few of them – a tornado, a shark attack, an extreme drought and an Auckland earthquake – all of which are considered quite rare in this part of the world.


On Thursday 6th December 2012 a tornado ripped through west Auckland leaving 3 people dead and causing much damage. We were currently living in Auckland city centre in a waterfront apartment looking towards west Auckland and the harbour bridge. I saw the extreme weather coming in, in the form of a severe thunderstorm – strong rain and winds – and then the tornado hit and was all over the news. Luckily we were a few miles from the damage so weren’t affected. Such a crazy and tragic story.

Read more about Auckland’s tornado on the NZ Herald here.

Shark attack

On 27th February 2013 a well-known New Zealand filmmaker was tragically killed by a suspected great white shark while swimming from Maori Bay to Muriwai Beach on Auckland’s west coast. Fatal shark attacks in New Zealand are quite rare, with the last known one back in 1976 – and only 11 having taken place since 1852. It has certainly made big news over here and made people much more cautious about spending time in the water.

Read more about the shark attack on here.


Believed to be the worst drought in New Zealand in 70 years the whole of the country has suffered with very long periods without rain over the 2012/3 summer period. On Friday, the entire North Island was declared a drought zone by the Government and there have been many bans of outdoor water use, and strong calls to conserve water where possible across the country. The last big drought was reported in the summer of 2007/2008. It has been estimated that the drought could cost the nation’s economy up to $2 billion.

Read more about New Zealand’s drought on and NZ Herald.

Auckland earthquakes

I recently wrote a blog post about the two Auckland earthquakes that hit on Sunday 17th March 2013. Two earthquakes struck Auckland at 4.01pm and 4.05pm on Sunday afternoon, with the strongest being a 3.9 on the Richter scale at the shallow depth of 6km. More than 10,000 people reported feeling it to geonet’s website and we were amongst that number. Living on Waiheke island we were quite close to the centre of the earthquake and our house shook pretty substantially during both earthquakes – but much stronger during the second. Although nothing compared to the recent Christchurch tragedies it was quite a scary time but luckily didn’t lead to anything more.

Read the NZ Herald’s report of the earthquakes here.

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