A Blot on the Landscape. Kaikoura’s Workers’ Camp Opens, Accommodation Providers Stay Empty

workers camp

100% Pure NZ. A haze of pollution hangs over Kaikoura. The workers’ camp is tipped to become a permanent feature, while accommodation providers stand empty

From the comments section of the above Facebook page :


Local businesses are the last to get support in Kaikoura


The Tweet just about sums it up:


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Six Months Since Kaikoura Earthquake and Businesses are Desperate for Visitors. Never Fear, Compass is on the Way (May 17 2017):

It has been six months since the Kaikoura earthquake but businesses are a long way from recovering in the remote South Island township, and tourism operators are worried because they say that holidaymakers have yet to return.

Some Kaikoura businesses are said to be ‘within 6-8 weeks of collapse‘ due to dwindling visitor numbers, according to an advocacy group set up to help traders and retailers impacted by the November earthquake.

Stephanie Thompson, owner of the Kaikoura Four Square and committee member of the 45 strong Kaikoura Retail and Trade Association, says businesses are facing collapse. Meanwhile, Jo James, who owns the Sierra Beachfront Motel with her partner Brad, says its been over a month since she had a new booking. Ms Jones says the closure of the highway north is a big roadblock, and the intermittent accessibility of the highway south is putting tourists off as they don’t like driving the inland road (even the locals don’t enjoy that)… read on

Concerns over alcohol-fueled violence as rebuild workers move into Kaikoura (May 19 2017):

We’re advising tourists and migrants alike to give Kaikoura a wide berth over the next 18 months or so as the township turns into the NZ equivalent of an Australian “mining camp”. Around 400 workers are due to flood in to the small township (est. pop. 2,080) to start on reconstruction work.

“Alcohol fuelled violence and sexual disease”

According to the Marlborough Express

Officials are concerned alcohol-fuelled violence and sexual disease consultations will surge in Kaikoura as hundreds of rebuild workers descend on the district.

Police, the Kaikoura District Council and Community and Public Health have set up a group to monitor the earthquake-hit town’s bars and off-licences, while night clinics and random drug tests are planned for workers…

The facility has been likened to those used in Australian mining camps.

Unbelievably, instead of lodging all the workers with local accommodation providers (many of whom are weeks away from bankruptcy due to low bookings) and grounding them within the community, they will be herded four to a unit in a 75 unit ‘mining camp‘ situated on Ludstone Road, near to West End on the fringe of town – incredibly, this is within metres of the local high school. New Zealand was never great at ‘joined up thinking’ and one has to wonder who benefits most from this arrangement ?

Meanwhile, Compass has won a lucrative catering contract said to be worth millions of dollars to look after the workers, further depriving local food providers of much needed trade.

Concerns about the camp, which is unlikely to be as well run as its Australian equivalents (these are said to be like “tight ships” with zero tolerance drug and alcohol policies) were raised during a during a Canterbury District Health Board committee earlier this month…read on