Kaikoura: What you need to know on day three

8:12 pm on 16 November 2016

It has been three days since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the country and cut off Kaikoura.

Chinese tourists Xiaolei Chen and Jiangyong are honeymooning in New Zealand. They were evacuated by the Chinese consulate.

Chinese tourists Xiaolei Chen and Jiangyong, who were on their honeymoon in New Zealand, were among hundreds waiting to fly out. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Here's what you need to know:


  • Evacuations have started and will be by either helicopter or ship. The marae is the meeting point for tourists, who will then be bussed to the helicopter landing point.
  • HMNZS Canterbury is scheduled to leave Kaikoura for Lyttelton this evening with hundreds of evacuees aboard and expected to arrive overnight. Once it has arrived, passengers will be bussed to Horncastle Arena in Addington. People without pre-arranged pick-ups or accommodation will be assisted with welfare needs. Anyone waiting to meet or pick up people off the ship should go to Horncastle Arena and not Lyttelton.
  • State Highway 70 from Culverden to Kaikoura is now open for military-style 4WD vehicles only, allowing army trucks to deliver water and essential supplies through to the town. It's hoped SH70 will be reopened to the public by the weekend.
  • Fuel is available for emergency services only, but is expected to be fully available by the weekend.

Water and food supplies

  • The Kaikoura District Council says everyone in the region must continue to boil water used for cooking and drinking as it is not safe.
  • The New World supermarket in the town is open with limited supplies. Supplies are being delivered by air throughout the day, with more arriving in the coming days.
  • The water supply in the north of the town is restored as far as New World. The marae and hospital also have water.
  • Kaikoura Hospital also has fuel and medical supplies.


  • The marae in Kaikoura is accommodating people - a number of tourists and locals are also camping around town.


  • MainPower supplies power to Kaikoura and outages are regularly updated on its website.
  • Their latest information is that 768 homes in Kaikoura are still without power. It could take weeks to restore power to rural areas.
  • Power is starting to be restored throughout the region, with electricity in Waiau expected to be back by this afternoon.

Internet and communication

  • Mobile phone service has been restored to Kaikoura and efforts are now under way to restore broadband and landline access. A large number of technicians have been working around the clock at locations in the North and South Islands to restore the services.

Health and health emergencies

  • The Nelson-Marlborough DHB has issued a set of instructions for treating water, disposing of sewage, and making a temporary toilet - they're available here.
  • Canterbury medical officer of health Alastair Humphrey is urging people in Kaikoura to be more vigilant about hand washing and drinking water. He says a possible outbreak of a gastro bug is the biggest health risk in the town.
  • Dr Humphrey says people should also not eat anything gathered from the ocean and rivers because of possible contamination.

Emergency contacts, addresses, and links

  • Updates from Marlborough Civil Defence are available on their Twitter link and Facebook link.
  • All media releases are available on the national Civil Defence website.
  • People should also keep an eye on the Kaikoura Civil Defence website.
  • People who haven't heard from people in Kaikoura and have concerns should call 0800 780 103 or 03 363 7400, and ask for police communications.


  • The Marlborough District Council has established an earthquake fund, which is accepting donations. They can be made via online banking to 02 0600 0202861 00 with the reference "Mayor EQ", or in person at the Marlborough District Council offices in Blenheim and Picton.
  • The Red Cross has also set up an appeal.
  • People are being urged to donate money, not goods at this stage.

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