We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.
Play

00:00

/

00:00

Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB

HD 0 MB

Captions
Volume
Volume
Hero image for Earthquake!

Earthquake!

Television (Full Length) – 2006

The Hawke's Bay earthquake still ranks as New Zealand’s worst civil disaster. More than 250 people died following the 7.8 magnitude quake on 3 February 1931. Director Gaylene Preston (miniseries Hope and Wire) gathered eyewitness accounts from survivors, including kuia Hana Lyola Cotter, who has never forgotten joining the rescue effort as a teen. The documentary also includes eye-opening newsreel footage of the damage. Earthquake! was nominated for Best Popular Documentary at the 2006 Qantas Television Awards; the sound team took away gongs at that year's NZ Screen Awards. 

We didn’t realise what really it was like till we got there. Oh gosh, we thought it was the end of the world.
– Hana Lyola Cotter recalls the scene, after arriving in Napier the day after the quake

Key Cast & Crew

Profile image for Michael Hedges

Michael Hedges

Sound Mix

Generic Profile image for Polly McKinnon

Polly McKinnon

Sound Editor

Generic Profile image for Melanie Graham

Melanie Graham

Sound Editor

Generic Profile image for Raewyn Humphries

Raewyn Humphries

Editor

Generic Profile image for Whena Owen

Whena Owen

Line Producer, Archive Research

Profile image for Gaylene Preston

Gaylene Preston

Director, Producer

See all 22 credits

Acknowledgements

Produced in association with Hawke's Bay Museum (now MTG Hawke's Bay)

Made with funding from NZ On Air


Presented with thanks to the NZ Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata

Music

'Button Up Your Overcoat' performed by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra

If you liked this, you might also like...

Collection
Collection image for NZ Disasters

NZ Disasters

Spanning more than 150 years, this collection tells...

Collection
Collection image for The Gaylene Preston Collection

The Gaylene Preston Collection

A collection full of riches, devoted to the work of Dame...

Thumbnail image for Survivor Stories

Survivor Stories

Another Gaylene Preston documentary on the same earthquake

Thumbnail image for The Years Back - 3, The Thirties (Episode Three)

The Years Back - 3, The Thirties (Episode Three)

Features footage of the Hawke's Bay earthquake

Thumbnail image for Hope and Wire - Full Series

Hope and Wire - Full Series

Gaylene Preston also made this Christchurch quake drama

Thumbnail image for When a City Falls

When a City Falls

Documentary on the 2011 Christchurch earthquake

Thumbnail image for War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us

War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us

More memories captured by director Gaylene Preston

Thumbnail image for Wahine Requiem

Wahine Requiem

Another Gaylene Preston documentary about a disaster

Thumbnail image for Aftermath - Triumph of the City (Episode Five)

Aftermath - Triumph of the City (Episode Five)

Plans to rebuild after the 2011 Christchurch quake

Thumbnail image for Into Antiquity: A Memory of the Māori Moko

Into Antiquity: A Memory of the Māori Moko

More kuia

Thumbnail image for Chimney Book

Chimney Book

Quake trauma inspired this artistic short film

Thumbnail image for Making New Zealand - Construction

Making New Zealand - Construction

Documentary about NZ housing and earthquakes

Thumbnail image for This Town

This Town

Feature film set in Hawke's Bay

Thumbnail image for Aftershock

Aftershock

Drama based on a quake hitting Wellington

Thumbnail image for Strongman - The Tragedy

Strongman - The Tragedy

Director Gaylene Preston also worked on this

Thumbnail image for Nice Day for An Earthquake

Nice Day for An Earthquake

A music video quake shot in Hawke's Bay

Thumbnail image for The Day that Changed My Life

The Day that Changed My Life

Memories of the 2011 Christchurch quake

Thumbnail image for The Project - 48Hours

The Project - 48Hours

A parody video on New Zealand's precarious geography

Thumbnail image for Saving the Earth

Saving the Earth

More documentary from Gaylene Preston

Thumbnail image for Shoreline - First Episode

Shoreline - First Episode

Gaylene Preston's first directing assignment

Thumbnail image for Today Tonight - Gaylene Preston and Keri Hulme

Today Tonight - Gaylene Preston and Keri Hulme

A documentary made by Gaylene Preston

Thumbnail image for Hold Up

Hold Up

A unique mixed-genre film from Gaylene Preston