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Kaikoura Earthquake: Where to go for advice and information

If life is threatened, always dial 111

0800 Government Helpline

You can call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997, from 7am - 9pm, seven days a week if you:

  • would like assistance
  • are struggling to support yourself, or your family
  • would like more information about how we can help.

Support package for quake-affected Kaikoura businesses

The Government has announced a wage subsidy package as an initial step to help small businesses in and around Kaikoura. The package will assist those companies most seriously disrupted by this week's earthquakes to retain their staff while the district recovers.

The employment subsidy will be available for businesses in Kaikoura, Cheviot, Waiau, Rotherham, Mt Lyford and Ward who face a dramatic drop in their turnover as a direct result of the earthquakes and the closure of State Highway One.

It will be paid to businesses with fewer than 20 employees where closure of the state highway and damage to the coastal environment means they cannot operate and they cannot pay staff wages.

The Earthquake Support Subsidy will:

  • cover up to eight weeks at a rate of:
    • $500 gross per week for a full time employee ($4,000 per person);
    • $300 gross per week for a part time employee ($2,400 per person);
  • not be subject to GST (i.e. so employees get a higher net subsidy);
  • be backdated to the date of the earthquake and employers can ‘top up' the subsidy

The scheme will be administered through the Ministry of Social Development, with support from the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise North Canterbury, and the Kaikoura and Hurunui and Marlborough District Councils.

Firms holding insurance cover for loss of earnings will be expected to use this before accessing the wage subsidy.

Anyone requiring information and support should call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997.

EQC Claims 

People have three months to lodge EQC claims from the 14 November earthquake. 

When lodging a claim within the next three months, people can do it online at, or via email on Alternatively you can also lodge a claim by calling 0800 DAMAGE (326 243). The EQC call centre is open 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. 

Customers must have a home or contents fire insurance policy with an insurance company on their home at the time of the earthquakes to make a claim for home, contents and/or land damage. It is helpful if customers have the details of their insurance policy at hand when they contact EQC.

EQC covers earthquake damage to homes (usually up to $100,000 + GST), contents (usually up to $20,000 + GST) and a defined area of residential land.

Help for affected farmers

The Ministry for Primary Industries are working with sector representatives to develop support for farmers and the rural community.

Federated Farmers has opened their line to offers of help for affected farmers on 0800 327 646 or 0800 FARMING.

If anyone is concerned about the non-urgent wellbeing of a farmer, grower, worker or their family, you can call your Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254).

Stress counselling and support

It’s completely normal for you and your family to be emotionally and physically drained by the earthquakes. You’re not alone in feeling this way, and you don’t have to cope on your own. Friends and family members not affected by the event can help you cope with the added stress. Local qualified and experienced counsellors are also available free of charge.

If you need support or are concerned about how the situation is affecting you or your whānau, you can call for 0800 777 846 for support and advice.

You can call anytime of day, seven days a week.

The Earthquake Support Line is staffed with qualified mental health experts from Homecare Medical who have direct access to Healthline nurses and other 24/7 national telehealth services.

For other health concerns you should call your GP or call Healthline on 0800 611 116. It is free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Missing persons

If you have concerns about foreign citizens visiting or living in New Zealand, please try and contact them directly using their mobile phones (text messages work better than calling), via online channels and through any other known contact details (e.g. accommodation). If you can’t make contact with them directly and continue to hold concerns, please contact your Embassy or High Commission in New Zealand with full details, including when you last heard from them. 

Anyone with concerns about missing (or potentially missing) individuals, please try and contact them directly using their mobile phones (text messages work better than calling), via online channels and through any other known contact details (e.g. accommodation), if you have exhausted all options with no success please contact your local police. 

Civil Defence emergency Management Groups


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Links to all other Civil Defence groups can be found here


Earthquake Science and Information

GeoNet - the official source of geological hazard information for New Zealand.

Geonet M7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake: Latest updates

GeoNet M7.8 Kaikoura Quake: Future Scenarios and Aftershock Forecasts

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