Only 62% of Accommodation, 60% of Activity Providers are Currently Open for Business in Kaikoura. And, the Beginning of the end for the Kaikoura Star?


Seasonal cheer in Kaikoura (Governor General’s Facebook page)

Further evidence today of the continued impact of the Kaikoura earthquake on the small fishing village.

It’s peak tourist season but according to Whale Watch Kaikoura’s Facebook page

Kaikōura Business Update:

48 – Accommodation Providers (62%) are currently open for business.

82 – Retail, Hospitality and General Service Providers (82%) are currently open for business.

29 – Activity Providers (60%) are currently open for business

Whale Watch Kaikoura says it will be closed for 25th / 26th / 27th Dec 2016 and 1st / 2nd / 3rd Jan 2017. Then it’s “back to business as new normal from the 4th Jan 2017”.

The ‘new normal’ has so far consisted of giving locals free trips out of the harbor during the limited window offered by the high tide

18 Dec: We had the last of our free locals trips this morning. Our boat Paikea will now head to Wellington for safe berthing while our marina area is dredged. We can’t wait to be able to take our visitors out whale watching again, we are not sure when that will be but we will be keeping you posted…

17 Dec: Fantastic time out on the water this morning with our local friends. It has been so wonderful to be able to bless our community over the last few days with some fantastic tours and sightings. One more locals trip tomorrow before our 3rd vessel heads to Wellington to berthed safely while we wait for dredging to begin in the marina. This place is amazing!

13 Dec: In the last month (tomorrow marks one month since the earthquake) we have been getting used to a ‘new kind of normal’. With not being able to operate our whale watching tours due to various factors our staff have been out supporting our community in many ways. Such as – road crew with Downers, helping with clean up on peoples properties and businesses, truck driving, Maori Wardens, assisting DOC, delivering food and water, the list goes on. Being able to assist the community in a time like this is very rewarding. A huge thank you to all who have been putting in such long hours not just at Whale Watch but the community as a whole. We will come out of this stronger. source

Government promises

No word yet as to when the dredging of the harbor will begin. The government has pledged “a grant of up to $5 million” for the work. The same amount that was promised to re-lay the damaged pitch at the AMI stadium (aka Lancaster Park) after the Christchurch earthquake. Work that was never done.

Marine tourism is the lifeblood of Kaikoura, without it many more businesses will struggle to keep going.

It’s not only vital that the government keeps its promises but also  that it delivers them without any further delay.

With so much damage to be paid for in the capital city of Wellington, and the growing crisis surrounding sub-standard reinforcing steel, it’s looking increasingly likely that Kaikoura may lose out.

Kaikoura Star – the beginning of the end

The town’s newspaper editor Emma Dangerfield has announced her resignation from the Kaikoura Star. Dangefield is leaving town to be closer to her partner, who has been working in Darfield for some time.

The paper is out of print for a while. Is this the beginning of the end for the publication?


Also disappearing from West End is the Italian pizza restaurant at No. 40. The building is being marketed for $1.4 million by Kaikoura Realty. Close to the railway bridge, Hines Takeaways is also up for sale,  the business is being sold for $160,000. Further down, at 170 the Esplanade two motel units are being offered for $460,000

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Owners of 80 Wellington buildings ordered to do more invasive testing (20 Dec 2016):



Stats House was built in the 1970s


The owners of about 80 buildings in Wellington’s CBD have been ordered by Wellington City Council to do more invasive testing in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake.

The move comes after early results from a Government investigation into Statistics House, at CentrePort, revealed buildings with similar characteristics, sited on soft soil, should be prioritised for detailed engineering inspections. The orders fall under new powers handed to the council, allowing it to compel building owners to obtain and share assessments…

City council recovery manager Mike Mendonca said the buildings were all between four and 16 floors high, made out of reinforced concrete, with precast concrete slab floors. The owners would be told to undertake “more invasive” testing of their buildings, which were spread throughout the CBD.

Steel Mesh Nightmare Looms for Thousands of NZ Property Owners, Worse than Leaky Homes Crisis. Steel Used in Roads and Bridges Too

An insurance nightmare is looming for thousands of New Zealand property owners who’ve invested in buildings with reinforced concrete slabs built since 2012…

There may also be serious repercussions for property prices in Auckland, and other areas with grossly over inflated values, if buildings become uninsurable because of the presence of sub-standard steel reinforcing.

The reinforcing steel mesh is used in multi-storey buildings and concrete slabs to make them more resilient in an earthquake. It’s supposed to stretch by at least 10%. The standard was raised from 2% after the Christchurch earthquake. Lack of ductility was the reason why the CTV building collapsed, killing 115 people…

Damage Caused by Kaikoura Earthquake 14 November 2016

Sixteen blocks in Wellington were damaged by the recent Kaikoura earthquake. Alarmingly, some of them were new buildings, or renovated to meet modern day EQ code.

Note, buildings which are likely to have been built with the substandard steel mesh may include many of the new structures recently erected in Christchurch. Some of those damaged in and around Kaikoura, and some of the properties in the 16 damaged blocks in Wellington may also be affected.

An estimated 11% of Wellington CBD’s office space has been closed: that’s nearly 17 hectares of floor area, half of it in prime building stock. source

Coincidentally, John Key announced his resignation the same day the Commerce Commission said they were taking 3 prosecutions relating to grade 500E seismic steel mesh (used to strengthen concrete slabs and driveways) and Fletcher Steel were “issued with a warning for engaging in conduct that was likely to breach the act for retesting its product in a non-standard manner”… read on