Looks like some good sense is taking hold with Kaikoura

It looks like the daft idea of relocating SH1 inland in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake is over.

Sensible people have taken charge…ironically doing what we said from the get-go.

Engineers are looking at using coastal land uplifted by last month’s Kaikōura earthquake to relocate parts of State Highway 1 away from unstable hillsides.

Kaikōura mayor Winston Gray said inland alternatives to the coastal route had been ruled out, but the route could still be adjusted for stability.

He said putting a highway inland would be too costly and, in the case of upgrading the Molesworth Station track, of limited use in winter.   Read more »

Key has “environmental concerns” about slips hitting the sea. Harden up John


John Key is worried about “environmental concerns” of a natural event.

Thousands of tonnes of rock and rubble displaced in the Kaikoura Earthquake can be pushed into the sea without consent from local authorities under emergency law changes to be introduced tomorrow.

The legislation will also give the Government authority to immediately dredge Kaikoura’s seabed to improve boat access.

Speaking at his weekly press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister John Key said two new bills relating to earthquake recovery would be passed under urgency in Parliament tomorrow. A third bill will be debated on Thursday and go through a shortened public consultation process.

The changes would “allow us to rectify the situation as quickly as possible”, Key said.   Read more »

Kaikoura Update

Our transport correspondent has another update.

Two weeks after, and all of the tourists have gone.

The echoes of laughing and spending tourists are all that remains as the residents sit and ponder what a calamitous change has struck their lives. The once busy harbour is now full of rock, thrust up from under the sea, leaving the whale boat fleet high and dry.

We deliver to the Mitre 10 store in Kaikoura. Or we did.

It is now a wreck. The wonderful people who we dealt with, doing deliveries at all sorts of inconvenient (for them) hours, are now faced with their lives crashed under orange painted collapsed walls. A rebuild is needed, and when it is done much of their tourist business will not be there. Their immediate future will at least be busy, as they will not be the only ones rebuilding, and hopefully they can rebuild themselves in time to benefit from supplying all of the others around them.

Communities like Mt Lyford may not be so lucky. They were always a remote and small settlement, and only time will tell whether their lack of size is sufficient to sustain the energy needed to rebuild their tiny town.

I am enjoying the wide variety of views from the new experts in freight and logistics. There are many suggestions as to how and where SH1 should be rebuilt, or whether it should be rebuilt at all. The important thing for me is to realise that politics should have no place here. This is not the emotional surge of repairing thousands of individuals houses, and dealing with the considerable loss of life that occurred in Christchurch. This event is way bigger, and as infrastructure damage is becoming more evident in Wellington, the task is growing, as inevitably it would.   Read more »

Stressed Kaikoura smokers helped by NZ Vapor

Kaikoura, as we all know, has been cut off from easy access to almost everything since the earthquakes and that includes tobacco for local smokers. Fortunately for them, NZ Vapor was able to help. They don’t stock or sell tobacco but they were able to get the smokers their nicotine fix by sending in 24kg of vaping stock.

NZ Vapor is not allowed to say that they are in public health despite their product helping smokers to quit and even though vaping doesn’t involve all the nasty chemicals inhaled by smokers when they smoke a cigarette. After their latest mercy dash though I think it is safe to say that they are in the business of Public help.

Read more »

Oh the irony – the nuclear yankees Labour kicked out come back to say Hi and they end up helping

The peace protestors and other anti-American fools should really be apologising for stupid attacks.

In our time of need the US military came to help:

Finance Minister Bill English has told the crew of the USS Sampson the reassurance they provided to the community of Kaikoura was vital.

The US destroyer was in Wellington Harbour on a glorious day on Sunday after helping out in Kaikoura, along with ships from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, in the wake of the 7.8 earthquake last Monday.

Mr English said since he’d been in government he had been involved in a number of significant disasters, including the earthquake that killed 185 people in Christchurch and the Pike River mine disaster six years ago where 29 men died.

“On each occasion when these events happen we don’t know what the needs are, we don’t know how people will immediately react to disaster and the need to get on with the basics of recovery.”

The Sampson was coincidently in New Zealand to celebrate the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary and stepped up when disaster occurred, he said.

“You have been part of providing reassurance to the wider population that whatever the needs were in Kaikoura – which we couldn’t know because we couldn’t get there – we had people with the professionalism, the skill and the gear to make a big difference in a very small community.”

The reassurance provided to Kaikoura was vital, he said.   Read more »

Hey GNS, explaining is losing

GNS basically has only one job, and it appears they cocked that up.

GNS Science says it was taken by surprise by the tsunami that followed last Monday’s earthquake.

The Crown research institute said it was not the only one – its international colleagues were also caught out.

GNS director Ken Gledhill said it was clear from satellite radar and GPS that the earthquake ruptured several faultlines from Culverden to Cape Campbell.

But one of them behaved in an unexpected way.

“The tsunami turned out to be a surprise, and it wasn’t a surprise just for us – my international colleagues had the same issue,” Dr Gledhill said.

“Large on-land earthquakes do not usually cause tsunami – we did not know it had gone off-shore.”   Read more »


Fat Tony on Wellington’s building crisis


Mike ‘Fat Tony’ Williams discusses the Wellington CBD issue after the earthquake, amongst other things.

With just a year to go before the next General Election in New Zealand, yet another disaster in the shape of large earthquakes has struck in the South Island and reverberated badly as far as Wellington.

The locations of these shakes, mainly thinly populated rural areas, has meant that the cost in human life has not been near the scale of the Christchurch earthquakes or the Pike River mine explosion, but it will still be expensive.

The roads, particularly the one on the coast north of Kaikoura and rail line in the same region will be very expensive to restore and the infrastructure in the small towns that dot the region will not be cheap to set right.

Read more »

Andrew Little proves he is unfit for office

Andrew Little is a muppet at the best of times, but yesterday he showed what a complete tool he is.

He has said that he thinks there may be no point in rebuilding the road and we should look at alternate routes.

Was he wearing a blindfold when he was surveying the region with the PM?


Does he think that there is an easier route than the one chosen decades ago? You know when technology and earthmoving equipment wasn’t what it is today.  Read more »

Reality sets in as road and rail freight will take “months” to re-establish as before

As we discussed yesterday with an email from a transport sector contact, the solutions for the transport infrastructure are complex. It is going to take a long time to get even cars moving.

It’s going to be months before the South Island’s freight lines will be fully operational.

Monday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed parts of State Highway 1 and railway lines between Blenheim and Christchurch.

Most freight, including food, goes north to south.

Companies that send goods via truck and train are already scrambling to sort out an alternative option – shipping.

The extent of the damage was still unknown, said Todd Moyle, KiwiRail Group’s general manager asset services.

Early indications are that the lines will take months to fix, he said.

“We are still in the process of assessing the full extent of the damage. There are areas that we can’t or haven’t gotten to yet,” Moyle said.   Read more »

Freight to Lyttlelton, passengers to Nelson

After the main communications infrastructure of roads, bridges and the rail corridor were devastated by the earthquake  it is pretty clear that the region is going to take a big hit in terms of tourist travel and freight.

So it seems sensible that freight will be sent to Lyttleton and passengers to Nelson. Winston Peters has some helpful thoughts on the matter.

The government should be moving quickly to look into the feasibility of Cook Strait ferries being deployed to sail between Lyttelton and suitable North Island ports.

“This is crucial as the supply lines through to Christchurch are likely to be cut for some time,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.   Read more »