Northland tsunami siren replacement project

The Northland tsunami siren network is being replaced with new, state-of-the-art sirens that will provide more effective warnings for tsunami threats to our coastal communities.

The current Northland tsunami siren network is made up of over 200 sirens located along Northland’s coastline. This network is an initial warning system to alert coastal communities of distant source Tsunami threats. The sirens are owned by the local district councils and managed by the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group on behalf of all Northlanders. The current siren network is coming to the end of its expected life and no longer meets the latest safety standards.

Northland has over 3000 kilometres of coastline, all of which is at risk of tsunamis. These rare but devastating events can cause significant loss of life and destruction. Over the last century, tsunamis have claimed more than 260,000 lives globally, surpassing other natural hazards as a significant potential threat to Northland. Having an effective early warning system, including tsunami sirens, is crucial for Northland’s safety. These systems provide timely alerts, allowing communities to take necessary precautions and evacuate to higher ground. By investing in such systems, Northland can enhance preparedness, reduce vulnerability, and save lives.

To help provide more effective warnings to Northlanders for tsunami threats and to meet the new siren guidelines, the joint project was initiated by all four Northland councils, to replace the existing sirens with new models that are more effective, resilient, and compliant with the new safety standards.

The project is set to progressively replace the current sirens with 94 new sirens – starting in 2023 and rolling out over the next couple of years.



The new sirens are quite different from the existing ones.


  • provide much greater sound coverage
  • provide pre-programmed voice warning messages and multi-tone siren sounds
  • can be activated via cell phone networks and satellite
  • have a back-up solar power system.

As they are independent of the power grid, they will also be on their own poles, and because they have greater sound coverage, we will require fewer sirens in fewer, more effective locations.

Each siren is made up of:

  • 2.7m2 concrete foundation to support a
  • 8m steel pole (like a power pole)
  • A Siren, which is approximately 1.15m to 1.8 High depending on the type
  • Two x 100w solar panels
  • Control box

New tsunami siren.

The Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has been working with the siren suppliers – HSS Engineering – to identify the best locations for the new sirens that will provide the best coverage across the region.

There are a couple of new areas covered but this project is primarily about replacing and upgrading our current network. Existing areas will see improved coverage due to the new sirens.

The Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group prioritizes public safety when selecting siren sites. We’re also working to minimize any potential visual and environmental impacts on our communities.

As each siren is part of a network, sites are strategically chosen to ensure effective sound coverage and early warnings against Tsunami, not only for that community, but for the entire region – as moving one site can create sound gaps and make the network as a whole less effective.

Once installed, these sirens will be like an other utility pole or streetlight, but this one is helping to keep our coastal communities safe. 

For a detailed look at what goes into site selection, the table of key site considerations can be found below: 



Best sound propagation

This was ultimately determined by experts from the supplier (and through the tendering process back in 2020) who mapped all sirens as a region wide network. Sirens that overlap are done so strategically, and any movement of one siren needs to consider the impact on other sirens sound coverage. The network design is done to cover the areas that the previous network covered.
Good sound propagation and the ability for these sirens to provide effective early warnings to as many people as possible is the primary consideration of the project.

Located on council/public property

The sirens are all assets of the respective district council. Where possible they need to be located on council property. If that isn't possible, crown/central government agency land or a shared community property (such as Marae/Iwi land) is chosen in consultation with the landowner. The sirens cannot be located on land that is privately owned to ensure the longevity of the site (20 years +) and access to it.

Distance from infrastructure or significant objects

The sirens must reside more than 2m from the nearest power lines, suitably setback from the road edge, setback as far as practical from neighbouring property boundaries, must not impede the growth of significant plant life, and must avoid culturally significant areas (where possible).

Proximity to power source

Each siren must have a nearby transformer with available capacity. The closer to the transformer the better.

Suitable ground stability

Although engineering can overcome some issues, the site must be relatively level or capable of being levelled without significant re-engineering. Some sites require minimal disturbance, whereas other sites require the base to be no higher than flush with the ground. This is determined by the landowner.

Suitable vehicular access

The site needs to be accessible by a truck with a crane for installation, and a vehicle with a scissor lift, cherry picker, or similar for maintenance.


The areas that the new sirens’ warning sounds will cover can be found in the Proposed new siren coverage - map and locations section, along with the approximate location of each of the new sites.


  • 12 August 2022
    The Northland CDEM team, along with key stakeholders, tested the new type of Tsunami siren – which is set to replace the current sirens in our Tsunami siren network.
  • 30 June 2023
    The first two shipments of sirens have arrived at our warehouse, and we are currently going through the resource consent process for each district.
  • 30 August 2023
    Resource consent applications have been lodged with each of the three district councils for 78 of the 95 locations.

    The final batch of sirens is expected to arrive from Denmark in November.

    For those wanting a better look at the new tsunami warning sirens, check out these scale 3D printed models. If you’re in the Whangārei area, you can even pop in to the Whangārei library and check out some of the models in person.

    The models are made with PLA, a biodegradable plastic derived from renewable sources.
  • March 2024
    All the new sirens have arrived in the country and 64 of the new sites have resource consent approval. We continue to engage with Iwi/Hapū and community groups as the project continues.

    Contractors have now started preparing the sirens and materials for installation, with the first two sirens scheduled to be installed in Whangarei next month (April 2024). More installations will follow across Northland over the next couple of years.
  • April 2024
    The first siren has been partially installed near Port Nikau in Whangārei, with preparation for the next Whangārei sites underway.

The below map shows the sound coverage of the new sirens. The locations of the current tsunami sirens and evacuation zones can be found on our evacuation map.

 The approximate locations of the new sirens can be found in the table below: 


Location Address Area District
Langs Bay (PDF 1.16 MB) Cnr Wairahi Road and Cove Road Waipu Whangārei
Waipu Cove Toilets  (PDF 1.12 MB) 901 Cove Road Waipu Cove Whangārei
Waipu Cemetery (PDF 1.17 MB) Cove Road, Opp Riverview Place Waipu Cove Whangārei
Waipu Reserve (PDF 1010 KB) Opp 69 The Centre Waipu Whangārei
Uretiti DOC Campground (PDF 1.1 MB) 3149 SH1, Waipu Waipu Whangārei
Ruakaka Beach Car Park (PDF 1.09 MB) End of Ruakaka Beach Rd Ruakaka Whangārei
Ruakaka (PDF 1.14 MB) Cnr. Tamure Place & Peter Snell Road Ruakaka Whangārei
Marsden Point Import Terminal (PDF 1.02 MB) Cnr Mair Road and Port Marsden Highway One Tree Point Whangārei
Marsden Bay (PDF 1.05 MB) 140 Marsden Bay Dr One Tree Point Whangārei
New - One Tree Point - Shearwater St Reserve (PDF 1.19 MB) Shearwater St Reserve One Tree Point Whangārei
Takahiwai Marae (PDF 928 KB) 229 Takahiwai Rd Takahiwai Whangārei
Portland School (PDF 1.09 MB) Portland School Road Portland Whangārei
Port Nikau (PDF 1.39 MB) Port Road Port Rd Whangārei
Union East St (PDF 1.18 MB) 26 Union Street East Port Rd Whangārei
William Fraser Park Whangārei (PDF 1.23 MB) Opp 129 Riverside Drive Riverside Whangārei
Whangārei Railway Station (PDF 1.14 MB) Railway Ave Whangarei Whangārei
Whangārei Town Basin (PDF 1.22 MB) Cnr Hatea Dr & Riverside Dr Town Basin Whangārei
Waimahanga Road (PDF 1.37 MB) 6 Waimahanga Rd Onerahi Whangārei
Beach Road Roundabout (PDF 1.22 MB) Cnr Beach Road and Pah Road Onerahi Whangārei
Onerahi Estuary (PDF 1.12 MB) Cnr Whangarei Heads Road and Beach Road Onerahi Whangārei
Waikaraka (PDF 943 KB) Cnr Whangarei Heads Rd and Attwood St Waikaraka Whangārei
Headland Farm Park (PDF 1.02 MB) Cnr Davidson Ave and Manganese Point Rd Tamaterau Whangārei
Parua Bay Yacht Club (PDF 1009 KB) 990 Whangarei Heads Rd Parua Bay Whangārei
Parua Bay Shops area (PDF 1.07 MB) Reserve Path (Adj. 21 Bayside Lane) Parua Bay Village Whangārei
McLeods Bay Reserve (PDF 963 KB) Opp. 2031 Whangarei Heads Rd McLeods Bay Whangārei
Taurikura Bay (PDF 1.57 MB) opp. 2375 Whangarei Heads Road Taurikura Whangārei
Urquhart Bay (PDF 1.13 MB) Cnr Urquhart Rd and Calliope Lane Urquhart Bay Whangārei
Ocean Beach Car Park (PDF 1.06 MB) End of Whangarei Heads Rd Ocean Beach Whangārei
McGregors Bay Reserve (PDF 1.02 MB) 10 McGregor Street Taiharuru Whangārei
Pataua South Reserve (PDF 1.08 MB) 883 Pataua South Road Pataua South Whangārei
Ngunguru Reserve (PDF 1.28 MB) Whale Tail Park Ngunguru Whangārei
Whangaumu Reserve (PDF 1.24 MB) 20 Whangaumu St Wellingtons Bay Whangārei
Tutukaka Marina (PDF 1.16 MB) Cnr of Matapouri Rd & Marina Rd Tutukaka Whangārei
Matapouri (PDF 1.11 MB) Opp 966 Matapouri Road Matapouri Whangārei
Woolleys Bay Reserve (PDF 1.02 MB) 1160 Matapouri Road Woolleys Bay Whangārei
Sandy Bay (PDF 1.05 MB) 1330 Matapouri Road Sandy Bay Whangārei
Whananaki South (PDF 972 KB) End of Te Ara O Tunua Road Whananaki Whangārei
Whananaki Fire Station (PDF 1.03 MB) Opp. 2257 Whananaki North Road Whananaki Whangārei
Otamure Bay Whananaki DOC Camp site (PDF 1.01 MB) 208 Rockell Rd Whananaki Whangārei
Maureeses Bay (PDF 1.11 MB) Cnr Rockell & Matapiko Rds Whananaki Whangārei
Mimiwhangata DOC Camp site (PDF 745 KB) 453 Mimiwhangata Rd Mimiwhangata Whangārei
Helena Bay (PDF 1.2 MB) Teal Reserve Opp 152 Webb Rd Teal Bay Whangārei
Oakura Bay Store (PDF 1.17 MB) 153 Oakura Bay Road Oakura Whangārei
Bland Bay Public Reserve (PDF 1.04 MB) 767 Whangaruru N Rd Bland Bay Whangārei
Mangawhai Sports Rec (PDF 1.06 MB) Opp 110 Moir St Mangawhai Kaipara
Moirs Pt Christian Centre (PDF 1.06 MB) 117 Estuary Dr Mangawhai Kaipara
Mangawhai Museum (PDF 1.1 MB) Cnr Thelma Road South & Molesworth Drive Mangawhai Kaipara
Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park (PDF 1.05 MB) 2 Mangawhai Heads Rd Mangawhai Kaipara
Ruawai (PDF 1.28 MB) Cnr Ruawai Wharf Road and Jellicoe Road Ruawai Kaipara
Raupo (PDF 892 KB) Cnr McKinley Road and Raupo Wharf Road Ruawai Kaipara
Long Beach Toilets (PDF 1.07 MB) 50 Long Beach Russell Far North
Tapeka Toilets (PDF 1.05 MB) End of Tapeka Road Russell Far North
Russell (PDF 1.29 MB) 13 Church St Russell Far North
Opua Marina (PDF 1.25 MB) Baffin Street Opua Far North
Paihia Causeway (PDF 1.24 MB) Cnr Te Haumi Dve and Paihia Rd Paihia Far North
Paihia CBD (PDF 1.2 MB) 3 School Rd Paihia Far North
Waitangi Waitangi Yachting Club Wharf Waitangi Far North
Kerikeri Cruising Club & Marina (PDF 1.09 MB) 346b Opito Bay Opito Bay Far North
Taronui Road berm (PDF 772 KB) Taronui Rd Tapuaetahi Far North
Matauri Bay Car Park (PDF 894 KB) Carpark Entrance Matauri Bay Far North
Te Ngaere Bay Toilets (PDF 812 KB) Opp 1758 Wainui Road Te Ngaere Bay Far North
Tauranga Bay Camp (PDF 1.11 MB) 51 Tauranga Bay Beach Rd Tauranga Bay Far North
Whangaroa Harbour (PDF 849 KB) 571 Whangaroa Road Whangaroa Far North
Totara North Hall (PDF 1006 KB) School Rd Totara North Totara North Far North
Totara North Wharf (PDF 733 KB) 104 Okura Bay Rd Totara North Far North
Taupo Bay (PDF 1.08 MB) Opp 20 Taupo Bay Road Taupo Bay Far North
Hihi Fire Station (PDF 1.18 MB) 12 Marchant Road Hihi Far North
Mangonui Domain Reserve (PDF 1.38 MB) George Street Mangonui Far North
Coopers Beach Shopping Centre (PDF 1.31 MB) Opp. 162 SH10 Coopers Beach Coopers Beach Far North
Cable Bay (PDF 1.28 MB) 360 State Highway Ten Cable Bay Far North
Taipa Point (PDF 922 KB) 59 Taipa Point Road Taipa Far North
Simon Urlich Road Reserve (PDF 1.33 MB) Opp 26 Simon Urlich Road Tokerau Beach Far North
Karikari Hall (PDF 1.28 MB) 18 Matai Bay Road Whatuwhiwhi Far North
Rangiputa Fire Station (PDF 1.11 MB) Cnr Motutara Dr and Rangiputa Rd Rangiputa Far North
Kaimaumau (PDF 1.11 MB) Opp 11 Lake Road Kaimaumau Far North
Wagener Holiday Park (PDF 888 KB) 214 Houhora Heads Houhora Far North
Pukenui  (PDF 1.01 MB) Opp 4075 Far North Rd Pukenui Far North
Te Hapua Waharua Road Te Hapua Far North
Waipapakauri Beach (PDF 1.11 MB) Opposite 519 West Coast Rd Waipapakauri Far North
Ahipara Fire Station (PDF 1.35 MB) Cnr Takahe Rd & Kakapo St Ahipara Far North
Ahipara Foreshore (PDF 1.16 MB) Opp 255 Foreshore Rd Ahipara Far North
Rawene Wharf (PDF 873 KB) Russell Esplanade Rawene Far North
Omapare Reserve (PDF 1001 KB) 125 Hokianga Harbour Drive Opononi Far North
Freese Park (PDF 1.09 MB) 308 Hokianga Harbour Drv Omapere Far North
Te Tii Marae (PDF 780 KB) 124 Te Tii Road Te Tii Far North
Rawhiti Marae (PDF 930 KB) Opp. 197 Rawhiti Road Rawhiti Far North
Windsor Landing Boat Ramp (PDF 1.09 MB) 949 Kerikeri Inlet Road Kerikeri Inlet Far North
Waipapa landing Boat ramp (PDF 1.14 MB) 109 Landing Road Kerikeri Inlet Far North
Awanui Public Toilets (PDF 1.42 MB) 125 Twin Coast Discovery Highway (SH1) Awanui Far North
Waimanoni (PDF 1.25 MB) between 924-906 SH1 Waimanoni Far North
Matihetihe (PDF 957 KB) 3835A West Coast Rd Mitimiti Far North
Koutu Point School (PDF 867 KB) Adj. 53 Koutu Point Road Koutu Far North

If you want to know more about this project, head over to our frequently asked questions (FAQs) page.

For any questions about a particular site, email [email protected] with the subject ‘Northland Tsunami Siren Replacement Project’.