Emergency Preparedness

Port Emergency Warning System

The Napier Port Emergency Warning System (PEWS) is intended to alert people at the Port to local hazards and provide incident-specific emergency instructions. 

The PEWS alerts can be targeted to areas affected by serious hazards and will only be activated when there is a serious threat to life, health, or property, and on a weekly basis for testing purposes.

We regularly test the Port Emergency Warning System (PEWS) to ensure system readiness and enhance both port user and community awareness of the system in the event of an emergency. During each test, an audible emergency tone is activated and accompanied by a voice announcement, for example ‘For exercise only’.

The following tones are available through the Port Emergency Warning System and can be tested by clicking on the samples below:

Note: Please make sure your volume controls are low before testing these tones.

Test Tone –  means the system is being tested and no action is required.

Advisory Tone – means there is no immediate danger and more information is to follow.

Watch Act Tone – means an emergency is developing nearby,and ports users need to follow emergency information and instructions. 

Warning Tone – means an emergency has occurred and port users need to follow instructions and evacuate the Port up onto Bluff Hill Lookout.

All Clearmeans the main threat has passed and it’s safe to return to the Port and designated workplaces.

Port Emergency Warning System Testing Schedule

Our teams need to know how to keep themselves and others on-port safe when there is a serious threat to life, health, or property. As a lifeline utility, it’s also vital that we are able to function as fully as possible during and after an emergency for our customers and our region.

As you may be aware, we practice our Port Emergency Warning System every Tuesday at midday. If you hear the Test Tone (Westminster Chimes) at this time – and the words ‘For Exercise Only’, please be assured we are just testing the system to ensure our emergency preparedness.

Test Schedule Emergency Tone being Tested Time
Every Tuesday, Ongoing Test Tone (Westminster Chimes) 1200 hours


In the event of a real emergency, the Napier Port Emergency Warning System will broadcast the additional warning tones (as listed above) with a voice announcement identifying the specific incident and what action should be taken. These warnings will be repeated as appropriate.

Evacuation Exercise – Tuesday, September 8, 2020

On Tuesday 8 September, Napier Port plans held a successful port-wide evacuation exercise to practice its earthquake preparedness and tsunami response.

The purpose of the exercise was to practice the response of Napier Port, its people, its tenants and other port users to evacuate the port in real-time following a simulated offshore earthquake and tsunami.

During the exercise we activated the port’s emergency warning system,. You can listen to the emergency tones in the above Port Emergency Warning System section.

Thank you

We worked with local authorities including Napier City Council, NZTA, NZ Police, HB Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Hawke’s Bay DHB, Red Cross and the Salvation Army to plan and ensure we managed the exercise safely.

Watch a video of the evacuation exercise below: