Non partisan survey of earthquake areas

It was good to see Andrew Little accompanying John Key and Gerry Brownlee via air force helicopter to survey the earthquake damage in Marlborough and Kaikoura.

The repair work of infrastructure and especially roads and rail lines is going to be an expensive and long term project. Understanding the scale and cost of the problems by both major parties is important, and cooperation in planning the repairs, is going to be important.

Either Key or Little could be leading the Government this time next year and there will be a lot to do still then,

The cost of repairs, roughly estimated at several billion dollars, will impact on the New Zealand economy and Government budgets, and party policies heading into next year’s election will have to take in account the impact of earthquake repair costs.

From Stuff: Kaikoura earthquake: PM surveys the ‘devastation’ from the air

The Prime Minister says the damage to the Kaikoura region is worse than he thought.

Massive slips could be seen as he flew over in a Defence Force NH90.

“It’s just utter devastation, I just don’t know … that’s months of work,” John Key told Gerry Brownlee and pilots.

Dust billowed down the hillside as the chopper circulated. The pilot said he’d never been airborne when a quake had hit before.

Key asked how big the quake was but the pilot didn’t know.

As they flew over Key and Brownlee commented on the damage to rail lines and roads.

The doors were opened and the helicopter flew low as Key, Brownlee and Andrew Little surveyed the area.

As he viewed the damage, Little said the mudslides and rockfall were “stunning”.

“I can’t imagine what it will be like to clear it,” he said.

“Look at that road down there, it’s been hammered,” Key said.

A slumped hill could be seen and Brownlee commented “oh hell that’s amazing”.

A non-partisan appreciation of the scale of the problems is important, as will be the plans to fix the damage.

Just one of a number of major slips (there have been estimates of up to 100,000 slips throughout the area):


Marlborough Civil Defence

Massive problems – and both National and Labour along with the other parties in Parliament will need to work constructively together on funding and planning solutions.

Leave a comment


  1. PDB

     /  15th November 2016

    Though Labour were already toast at next years election the earthquake has locked that result in for good. A reminder that there is only one party at present fit to govern, be it domestically or on a global stage. Positivity will be the result of the recent quake highlighting even more the Labours/Greens always negative and cynical opinions of this country.

  2. Ray

     /  15th November 2016

    Jon Key, Andrew Little, open door on chopper.
    And no awful accident !
    Not sure that these guys are fit to run our country

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th November 2016

    I was in Hanmer in a wooden Fraemohs chalet trying to fix my phone while my wife watched a TV movie when the first big 7.5 hit. I have to say the chalet was great – strong as a boat in a storm as we rocked and rolled. It was built on a good thick concrete pad and the interlocking beam walls performed perfectly. We had driven through the epicentre at Waiau that afternoon and stopped for a few minutes of course never guessing anything so drastic was about to happen there. While it was happening I was standing back to a window which in retrospect although it had a heavy curtain was probably not a great idea but it was too far to get around the bed to the passageway while keeping my balance while it was like being on a yacht in a choppy sea with a howling wind. The noise was like a train or a plane roaring past right outside. After that I could hear the aftershocks coming as a low frequency sound just before they started but my wife couldn’t. She hears higher frequencies better than me though. Power went out in the middle of the quake and didn’t come back till midday the next day but the road out didn’t open till 4pm the next day. We got out just in time to get to Chch in time for our Transalpine rail trip today.

    • Wow Alan, that will have been quite an experience.

      How were the aftershocks?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th November 2016

        Lots all night. Hard to sleep. The big one next day was a bit scary as we were in a house next door that was two stories and not nearly as solid. It was also rather freaky driving out on the damaged roads and wondering if a quake at any moment might bring down rocks or shake the car off the road. Two hands on the wheel time.


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