16 Nov 2016

Family who pooled money for house see it wrecked by quake

8:48 am on 16 November 2016

As tourists are flown out of the cut-off town of Kaikoura, its residents are preparing for a long, hard cleanup.

Outside Mark Solomon's house, a half-metre-deep trench caused by the quake runs down the driveway.

Mr Solomon and his son Eddie, 15, took RNZ reporter Phil Pennington on a brief tour of the damaged home.

Mr Solomon, a cousin of his Ngai Tahu leader namesake, lives at the home 4km from town, with 15 members of his family.

Mark Solomon in s family home of 16 people was badly damaged in the quake.

Mark Solomon looks at the damaged kitchen. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The family has been evacuated to the town's marae.

They had pooled resources to buy the seven-year-old home.

They loved the house, he said, because it enabled the family to live together.

"But we love each other more. And this will make us stronger, hopefully.

"There's a strength, and a test of the family unit when you come under these devastating conditions.

"And it makes you stronger.

"You realise the things that you thought you loved aren't as important as the family you have."

The kitchen contents emptied onto the floor.

The kitchen's contents emptied onto the floor during the 7.5 quake. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Eruera Solomon, Mark Solomon's 15 year old son does not want to return to the family home.

Eddie, 15, isn't keen to return the house. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

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