Earthquake recovery in Kaikoura

The road in or out of Kaikoura is still closed. The inland road through Waiau is not yet open because there are still many landslides to clear and it is too dangerous. Army trucks managed to get through after two days, bringing chemical toilets, clean water and many other important supplies.

Some family members who were not home on Sunday night are still not able to get home. One woman was in Christchurch during the earthquake and wants to go home to help her husband on the farm but rural roads are still closed.

Farmers need supplies such as fuel for generators, tractors and cars, and water for themselves and animals. Dairy farmers cannot sell their milk because milk tankers cannot access the roads.

Primary schools are closed because they do not have water or toilets. The local high school opened yesterday for senior students to sit NCEA exams if they wanted to. They have a choice of getting an NCEA result based on their school work for the year (this is called a derived mark) or sitting the exam. Many students are too stressed by earthquakes to study and they will choose to get a derived mark.

Businesses are closed. Most businesses in Kaikoura are related to tourism. Businesses include swimming with dolphins, whale watching by sea or air, souvenir shops, motels and back packer accommodation, cafes and restaurants. The local dairy factory and cheese factory cannot get milk so they are closed. Commercial fishing is not happening at the moment because it is not possible to send fish to the markets outside the town. People who harvested crayfish and paua before the earthquake now must wait some time for these sea creatures to recover after the earthquake.

Possibly the worst problem long-term is the railway line which is badly damaged. It could be a year before this is repaired and all the tunnels are checked and repaired.

Did you listen to other posts about the earthquakes? See Recent News in the column on the right.


• access (v, n) – use, being allowed to use
• NCEA – National Certificate of Educational Achievement
• harvested (v) – collected for eating, taking food
• creatures – animals
• tunnel – a way through a mountain

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