Small business people in Kaikoura talk to John Campbell about life in the township; and the long, hard road back to some semblance of normality. Click on the above image to listen to the interviews
Some are coping better than others with post-quake hardships.
The interviewees in order of appearance are :
Dave Mckee – Kaikoura pharmacist, who is worried about nappies, fans and getting his car serviced. He says “thank goodness for beer, beer is a wonderful substance”
Mel Skinner – Runs Esses Wine, who says all their wine survived the quake and they’re managing to trade outside the town with local help from Rod Fathers fishing tours.
Dwayne Fussell – Owner of Coastal Sports, who says his shop survived fairly well, but most of his customers are locked out of town and he’d really love them back. However, his online business is being well supported.
Daniel Jenkins – Owner of Kaikoura Cheese. A lot of his product survived the earthquake and he’s still managing to trade despite a lack of milk. He’s getting his product out by boats. He’d like to see the community spirit continue after the town recovers from isolation caused by the quake. He wants to keep the “humility and humanity” happening.
Fiona Nicholson – Owner of Hapuku Lodge and treehouses. The lodge requires a few cosmetic repairs and “minor things like water to sort out!”. She says she’s pretty tired and involved with talking about insurance. The business is not currently open, but they’ve set themselves the ambitious goal of being open by 1 December. They’ve had some cancellations and some fresh bookings from December onwards.
Our thoughts are with the people of the town who desperately need a passable road to the country and the restoration of their water and sewerage infrastructure. When one considers that Christchurch still is having infrastructure problems 6 years after its quake, and many structures were damaged in Wellington during the Kaikoura quake, the outlook isn’t too good for the small seaside town.
The onus now is really on the government to help the town get back on its feet and put money into rebuilding the damaged infrastructure – some of it constructed fairly recently.
As Christchurch has demonstrated, resilience planning is something that New Zealand doesn’t do at all well and it has a fairly reactive culture when it comes to natural disasters. Something that needs to change in a country that straddles tectonic plates and appears to be entering an era of increased earthquake activity.