November 17, 2016
Aroha and awesome forces on display in Kaikoura
The HMNZS Canterbury made quick work of its first evacuation voyage from Kaikoura, dropping about 450 residents and tourists, four dogs and seven tonnes of luggage at Lyttelton just after midnight.
That will take some of the pressure off the town’s remaining residents and Takahanga Marae, which has been sheltering the unexpected manuhiri since Monday’s earthquake.
Labour Party leader Andrew Little, who traveled with Prime Minister John Key to Kaikoura on Monday, says he was impressed with the way people focused on looking out for each other and making sure their neighbours were okay.
"The work that the marae down there has been doing is absolutely tremendous. I know that for a lot of travellers and tourists, they wouldn't have got through the last few days if not for the help and support and aroha the marae is supplying. We are a country built on faultlines and we are subject to these awesome forces that we have just seen completely transform the land down there yet again," he says.
Military grade vehicles should be able to start getting supplies in to Kaikoura today through the inland road to the south, relieving some of the pressure on the community that was cut off by Monday’s earthquake.
For the past two days Ngai Tahu and the air force have been making helicopter flights into the township, bringing in supplies and taking out residents and tourists.
The New Zealand Transport Agency hopes to have the road open for private vehicles by the weekend.
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