Time in Kaikoura

Its been a couple of weeks since i got back from helping down in Kaikoura and i thought it was time i posted some pics.

It was a very humbling time, being able to help the community down there, who are still doing it tough. It was tiring and challenging work but worth the effort and i was blessed in many ways.

Lots of people still facing difficult situations, having lost their homes and/or income and business. I won’t go into details about the many things i did down there but suffice to say that Kaikoura still has a long road ahead in terms of recovery but they are a great community of wonderful people and that is a huge plus in their favour.

damagedhotel

The above pic is a hotel that suffered extensive damage during the quake. There are several others too that have been red stickered for demolition, and the roads are still in a huge state of disrepair.

meandtsaute

One of the many things i did in time was doing welfare checks on people in their properties, following up with them to ensure they are being looked after. While i enjoyed driving the Salvation Army Emergency Services ute i would have preferred one of the NZDF Army trucks that were helping in town!

meandnzdftruck

We also were able to see the damage done to State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura; to say its extensive is an understatement, and its no surprise to hear that the road will take over a year to be cleared.

sh1damage

As well as doing welfare checks, distributing food and water, hospital visits we spent a lot of timer working in the Recovery Assistance Centre and Recovery Hub where local people came to get advice and information. The centre has EQC, WINZ, Red Cross, MSD and ourselves as advice and help providers. One of the highlights was the visit of Her Excellency the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, the Governor General of New Zealand. She was a very warm and affable lady who was very concerned with how people were doing in the region.

meandgovgen

And although damage is still extensive, people are still hurting and jobs have been lost. when the sun was shining, Kaikoura still looked as beautiful as ever and as i found many of the locals saying to me’ not a bad place to be cut off from the rest of the world’.

kaikouraoverview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping down south

f-nzstorm-a-20161118-870x580At crack of dawn this Thursday morning, i wil be flying into Christchurch and then squeezing myself into a light plane or chopper to head into Kaikoura.

I will be working down there for 6 days as part of a Salvation Army emergency services team, one of a number we have been sending in on rotation since the November 14th earthquake.

We will be working under the direction of Civil Defence providing  a wide range of assistance, but I’m not totally sure what to expect; I just felt I should put my hand up. I started working for the Salvation Army in January 2012, shortly after the Christchurch earthquakes, so i did not get a chance to assist with the relief work there, so this seemed a good chance to do something more hands on.

I’d certainly value prayers as it will undoubtedly be had work but also a time to serve and bless others, and an experience unlike anything else i have done.