Water, supplies coming in through Lyttelton port

12:17 am on 27 February 2011

The Port of Lyttelton has re-opened and and the Lyttelton tunnel is again open to general traffic.

The Port began operating again on Saturday, and its chief executive says the priority is getting through fuel, food and emergency aid.

The loading and unloading of container ships has resumed at the port which suffered damage to its wharves in Tuesday's earthquake.

Chief executive Peter Davie says a ship carrying bottled water is in port, and the first vessel carrying food and provisions for supermarkets is expected on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Davie says the port cannot yet operate to full capacity but staff are working 24-hours a day on repairs.

The tunnel opened to general traffic on Saturday afternoon after previously being accessible only to emergency vehicles.

Navy ship to pick up supplies

Meanwhile, the navy vessel Canterbury will sail from Lyttelton to Wellington on Sunday morning to load up with disaster relief supplies for Christchurch.

It will return on Monday with water, telecommunications equipment, a front-end loader, an army bailey bridge, six containers - including four refrigerated ones, 29 four-wheel-drive vehicles and a 28,000-litre fuel truck.

The Navy has also been providing food for the people of Lyttelton for a street party.

The Navy's on-scene commander in Lyttleton, Captain Dean McDougall told Checkpoint on Saturday evening they are helping Lyttleton as the food supplies are getting short there. The town's summer festival was due to be held on Saturday, and while that was cancelled, an impromptu gathering was held in a school.