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Wild weather: How extreme weather events impact us

Travel online to East Coast: Tairāwhiti / Gisborne
to explore extreme weather events that we experience in Aotearoa.

Discover more >
Background reading, images, narrations, keywords and quizzes.

Connect with experts >
Insights into people, their careers and a chance to ask them questions in a LIVE web conference.

Explore the field trip videos >
Videos and more showcasing places, people, ideas and initiatives on this field trip.

Take the Google Earth for Web tour >
A virtual tour of the field trip with GIS mapping, 3D locations, images, daily diaries and video.

Share your grab-and-go kit >
Take your learning further and share a photo of your grab and go bag with us!

About this trip

Globally, climate change is bringing more extreme weather events. Aotearoa is no exception, as flooding and severe weather are the most common natural hazard events and cause multiple emergencies each year. Flooding can damage land, homes and infrastructure which impacts on the wellbeing of people.

Te Tairāwhiti–the East Coast of Aotearoa has a history of extreme weather events. Its steep landscape and unique location mean that high rainfall events have a bigger impact than in many other parts of our country.

Travel online with LEARNZ to:

  • find out about past big weather events in the East Coast area; flooding in 1938 and 2020, and the multiple effects of Cyclone Bola in 1988
  • hear from mana whenua about their experiences of big weather events before Europeans arrived
  • visit places in the East Coast that were affected by 1988’s Cyclone Bola, especially the rivers and beaches
  • find out what we have learned from events such as Cyclone Bola
  • inspect the continuing improvements to floodbanks of the Waipaoa River, which were overwhelmed in 1988
  • look at a map and choose Civil Defence places such as schools and marae; see if your choices match up with locations chosen by experts and their communities
  • explore the science and mātauranga behind extreme weather
  • meet people who are prepared for a weather bomb and learn about their plans
  • decide what would be the most likely severe weather near you and what plans you should make to be prepared.


This online field trip supports a STEM-based, cross curricular approach to teaching and learning. Participation encourages curiosity, citizen-science and student inquiry. Access the glossary.



United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

United Nations SDG 11This trip reflects the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.





Wild weather challenge

The wild weather challenge asks you to make, photograph and share your grab-and-go kit in the event of an extreme weather event near you.

National Emergency Management Agency logo.