Many Kiwis Ignore Tsunami Warnings

In the article below, the Coastguard describes people’s at-risk behaviour as “crazy” and “human nature.” I don’t agree with the “crazy” but do agree with the “human nature.” People see very clear positive outcomes for watching a tsunami rather than the negative outcomes for missing such an extraordinary and scarce event. In addition, we see the lack of antecedent control when the consequences do not support the desired response.

So, as is often the case, the positive outcomes follow the at-risk behaviour and the negative outcomes follow the safe behaviour.


Many Kiwis Ignore Tsunami Warnings

People heading to the beach to watch the tsunami are crazy, says the coastguard.


Coastguard Northern Region duty officer John Cowan, said today people heading to the beach should turn around and head the other way.

The tsunami warning for the east coast had little effect on many people on Auckland’s North Shore who continued to head to the beach and head to sea in their boats.

Two women having coffee on Milford Beach said they had a good vantage point and another woman about to head out on a walk to Takapuna Beach said she had her flippers.

However, Mr Cowan said the warning should be heeded and people should head to high ground.

“Stay away from the beaches. Don’t go out on the water and if you are already out on the water up anchor and head to deeper water at least half a mile off shore.”

Mr Cowan said many boats were ignoring the warning and heading out to sea but many people spoken to up and down the East Coast Bays on Auckland’s North Shore were unaware of the tsunami warning.


Mr Cowan said it appeared human nature was allowing people to head to the beaches for a vantage point.

McWilliams Consulting