Kaikoura earthquake

The scale of the problem in Kaikoura

This video and some images give you an idea of the scale of issues facing re-opening roads near Kaikoura.

A massive slip covering a road in rural Marlborough is proving challenging to roading crews, who are using dynamite, helicopters and diggers to get it cleared.

Nine families remained isolated behind the slip, which is covering Awatere Valley Rd, a 100 kilometre stretch connecting?coastal Marlborough down to Hanmer Springs.

In late November, the slip and the exploits of a digger driver working to clear it received national attention when a picture emerged showing his?excavator balanced precariously on the rock fall. ? Read more »

Looks like some good sense is taking hold with Kaikoura

It looks like the daft idea of relocating SH1 inland in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake is over.

Sensible people have taken charge…ironically?doing what we said from the get-go.

Engineers are looking at using coastal land uplifted by last month’s Kaik?ura earthquake to relocate parts of State Highway 1 away from unstable hillsides.

Kaik?ura mayor Winston Gray said inland alternatives to the coastal route had been ruled out, but the route could still be adjusted for stability.

He said putting a highway inland would be too costly and, in the case of upgrading the Molesworth Station track, of limited use in winter. ? Read more »

Key has ?environmental concerns? about slips hitting the sea. Harden up John


John Key is worried about “environmental concerns” of a natural event.

Thousands of tonnes of rock and rubble displaced in the Kaikoura Earthquake can be pushed into the sea without consent from local authorities under emergency law changes to be introduced tomorrow.

The legislation will also give the Government authority to immediately dredge Kaikoura’s seabed to improve boat access.

Speaking at his weekly press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister John Key said two new bills relating to earthquake recovery would be passed under urgency in Parliament tomorrow. A third bill will be debated on Thursday and go through a shortened public consultation process.

The changes would “allow us to rectify the situation as quickly as possible”, Key said. ? Read more »

Kaikoura Update

Our transport correspondent has another update.

Two weeks after, and all of the tourists have gone.

The echoes of laughing and spending tourists are all that remains as the residents sit and ponder what a calamitous change has struck their lives. The once busy harbour is now full of rock, thrust up from under the sea, leaving the whale boat fleet high and dry.

We deliver to the Mitre 10 store in Kaikoura. Or we did.

It is now a wreck. The wonderful people who we dealt with, doing deliveries at all sorts of inconvenient (for them) hours, are now faced with their lives crashed under orange painted collapsed walls. A rebuild is needed, and when it is done much of their tourist business will not be there. Their immediate future will at least be busy, as they will not be the only ones rebuilding, and hopefully they can rebuild themselves in time to benefit from supplying all of the others around them.

Communities like Mt Lyford may not be so lucky. They were always a remote and small settlement, and only time will tell whether their lack of size is sufficient to sustain the energy needed to rebuild their tiny town.

I am enjoying the wide variety of views from the new experts in freight and logistics. There are many suggestions as to how and where SH1 should be rebuilt, or whether it should be rebuilt at all. The important thing for me is to realise that politics should have no place here. This is not the emotional surge of repairing thousands of individuals houses, and dealing with the considerable loss of life that occurred in Christchurch. This event is way bigger, and as infrastructure damage is becoming more evident in Wellington, the task is growing, as inevitably it would. ? Read more »

Stressed Kaikoura smokers helped by NZ Vapor

Kaikoura, as we all know, has been cut off from easy access to almost everything since the earthquakes and that includes tobacco for local smokers. Fortunately for them, NZ Vapor was able to help. They don’t stock or sell tobacco but they were able to get the smokers their nicotine fix by sending in 24kg of vaping stock.

NZ Vapor is not allowed to say that they are in public health despite their product helping smokers to quit and even though vaping doesn’t involve all the nasty chemicals inhaled by smokers when they smoke a cigarette. After their latest mercy dash though I think it is safe to say that they are in the business of Public help.

Read more »

Road to Kaikoura tests mettle of NZDF drivers

Driving the quake-damaged route from Culverden to Kaikoura is testing the mettle of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) truck drivers ferrying vital aid supplies to the seaside community.

?The damage caused by the earthquake is very evident. Fault lines have sheared the road in half in many places. There are a lot of overhanging rocks. A number of bridges have also been damaged and cannot be used for heavy vehicles so we had to find alternate routes,? Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Dan Rosewarne said.

SSGT Rosewarne drove one of the 27 Defence Force trucks in the first aid convoy that reached Kaikoura last Friday. The convoy was halted for a day by bad weather, causing risks of further landslides. It ferried 44 tonnes of vital supplies including 7320 litres of diesel, 1540 litres of petrol and 10,000 litres of potable water.

Due to risks of further landslips, aid supplies for Kaikoura are prioritised over provisions for military personnel and are placed at the front of the convoy, SSGT Rosewarne said.

?That way, if we are cut off because of a landslide, the supplies for the affected communities would have gone ahead.? ?? Read more »

Oh the irony – the nuclear yankees Labour kicked out come back to say Hi and they end up helping

The peace protestors and other anti-American fools should really be apologising for stupid attacks.

In our time of need the US military came to help:

Finance Minister Bill English has told the crew of the USS Sampson the reassurance they provided to the community of Kaikoura was vital.

The US destroyer was in Wellington Harbour on a glorious day on Sunday after helping out in Kaikoura, along with ships from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, in the wake of the 7.8 earthquake last Monday.

Mr English said since he’d been in government he had been involved in a number of significant disasters, including the earthquake that killed 185 people in Christchurch and the Pike River mine disaster six years ago where 29 men died.

“On each occasion when these events happen we don’t know what the needs are, we don’t know how people will immediately react to disaster and the need to get on with the basics of recovery.”

The Sampson was coincidently in New Zealand to celebrate the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary and stepped up when disaster occurred, he said.

“You have been part of providing reassurance to the wider population that whatever the needs were in Kaikoura – which we couldn’t know because we couldn’t get there – we had people with the professionalism, the skill and the gear to make a big difference in a very small community.”

The reassurance provided to Kaikoura was vital, he said. ? Read more »

Kaikoura Earthquake – Defence Force Update


A convoy of 27 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) trucks braved bad weather and risks of further landslides to bring much-needed fuel and water supplies to quake-damaged Kaikoura this afternoon.

?Fuel supplies in Kaikoura have been running low for days. And with debris blocking off the main route to the town, a resupply was out of the question. So this is fantastic news for the community that our trucks finally got through,? Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.

The convoy ferried 7320 litres of diesel and 1540 litres of petrol for Kaikoura?s petrol stations and emergency services. It also brought 10,000 litres of potable water for distribution and nine Army chefs who will cater for the 250 patients at Kaikoura Hospital.

MAJGEN Gall said five of the Defence Force trucks will go to Culverden in North Canterbury tomorrow to get further supplies. The rest will remain in Kaikoura to distribute drinking water and other aid supplies brought today by amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury.

Up to 16 more Defence Force trucks will be dispatched from Burnham Military Camp on Saturday morning to pick up food and other aid supplies for Kaikoura, he said.

Further evacuations were conducted today by the Royal New Zealand Air Force?s NH90 helicopters and HMNZS Canterbury following requests from at least 160 Kaikoura residents. Once completed, the latest evacuations will bring to about 860 the total number of people rescued. ? Read more »

Kaikoura Earthquake: Defence Force Update


Warships from Australia, Canada and the United States, with about 660 sailors and four helicopters between them, are in Kaikoura to support the New Zealand Defence Force?s (NZDF) disaster relief operation.

?The ships, crews and maritime helicopters provided by our partner militaries have given us a great deal of flexibility in supporting the national relief effort,? Major General (MAJGEN) Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.

?They could assist in the clean-up, movement of vital aid supplies and in conducting welfare checks in communities affected by Monday?s earthquake.?

MAJGEN Gall said poor weather conditions, further cracks on the road and risks of further landslides halted a convoy of 27 Defence Force trucks that left Burnham Military Camp before midday, carrying vital aid supplies for quake-damaged communities in North Canterbury.

Another survey will be conducted before the convoy is allowed to proceed to Kaikoura, he said.

The convoy was earlier given the green light to move after Army engineers completed a reconnaissance of the Waiau to Kaikoura route this morning. Massive slips caused by Monday?s 7.8 magnitude earthquake cut off land access to Kaikoura. ? Read more »

The size of the problem or Why you can’t trust the Herald to tell you

The size of the problem in and near Kaikoura is something people are struggling to get information on.

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the NZ Herald for facts. Here is a prime example.

The scale and the complexity of the slips on SH1 was unprecedented in New Zealand, Knackstedt said, and the task ahead was huge.

“While detailed measurements aren’t yet available, it’s likely that four or five of the large slips which have come down on SH1 could be as large or larger than the October 2011 slip which closed SH3 through the Manawatu Gorge.”

That landslide – the largest in New Zealand history – involved 370,000sq m of material. ?

Read more »