The shop fronts on Lyttelton’s main street read: Volcano! Lava! Eruption! 

The people of Banks Peninsula have never shied away from the area’s volcanic origins.

Geologically, the peninsula comprises the eroded remnants of two large shield volcanoes. Lyttelton formed first, then Akaroa. For eight million years they have been dormant. But not for long. 

A multi-purpose stadium floats off the harbour surface. A plume of smoke. 

Fifty-thousand spectators stream off cruise ships and light rail. A pyroclastic flow.

Mediocrity beware, the area is undergoing a seismic shift.