Kaikōura earthquake

Information about the Kaikōura earthquake of 14 November 2016, MPI's response, and resources for those affected.

Assistance and support available

MPI continues to work closely with rural communities and sector organisations around Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough.

Resources available to those who need them

  • Contact Federated Farmers on 0800 FARMING to lodge requests for, or offers of, help on the farm. All requests and offers are being managed through its central system. Calls are answered 24 hours a day.
  • Contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP for a free, private and confidential chat. A Trust representative can come to see you and, if needed, point you in the right direction for further help.
  • The North Canterbury and Top of the South rural support trusts have someone answering the phone 24/7 over the Christmas and New Year period.
  • The Government Helpline is open for calls about all government support available, on 0800 77 99 97 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
  • If your circumstances have changed as a result of the earthquake, talk to your accountant, bank, and Work and Income to see what other help you may be eligible for.

Kaikōura earthquakes – support and assistance [PDF, 180 KB]
Support following 14 November earthquakes – Work and Income website
Official emergency advice and information – Civil Defence website

Temporary Accommodation

The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE's) temporary accommodation service is available for people whose primary residence has been damaged by the earthquake. After you register on its website, MBIE will contact you within 24 to 48 hours and confirm your information.  Generally, MBIE uses undamaged private market accommodation and looks at solutions when there is no supply – like caravans for people in remote rural areas as a shorter term (3 to 4 month) solution.

If your rural property has other accommodation, such as damaged lodgings for seasonal workers, email info@mpi.govt.nz


  • Don't wait to make essential repairs.
  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible.
  • Document, photograph, and keep receipts for work carried out.

Earthquake Relief Fund for uninsurable damage to primary industries

  • The Government has announced $4 million towards a primary industries earthquake relief fund for uninsurable infrastructure repairs as a result of the 14 November 2016 earthquake.
  • All earthquake-affected farmers, fishers and growers in the Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough districts can apply for a grant.
  • Grants will be a contribution towards repairs but will not completely cover costs.

What does 'primary industry' include

'Primary industry' for the purpose of a relief fund grant includes:

  • the primary production of poultry, meat, wool, or dairy products
  • sharemilking
  • arable farming, horticulture, viticulture, forestry, market gardening
  • an orchard, herb or flower growing,
  • apiculture
  • aquaculture and fishing (including pāua, crayfish, finfish)

It does not include hobby farming (such as lifestyle blocks).

Who can apply?

The fund is to assist rural people whose principal income comes from a primary industry which is either well-established or in the developmental stage.

The funding may only be allocated in the form of a grant to help pay for costs associated with:

  • restoring uninsurable primary sector infrastructure
  • re-establishing uninsurable pasture (on cultivatable land only), crops, and forestry
  • initial clean-up of silt and debris (where uninsurable).

This could include: on-farm access roads, tracks, races, bridges without sides, dams and reservoirs, as these are generally uninsurable.

Details of what the grants will cover

  • Priority will be given to essential repairs to continue farming, such as roadside boundary fencing, boundary fencing, access tracks and stock water supplies.
  • Any grant will be a contribution towards repairs, up to a maximum of 50% of the cost.
  • The damage must exceed $12,000 in total for you to be considered for assistance.
  • An excess of $5000 will be deducted from the 50% that is eligible for funding. The amount awarded may be adjusted if eligible funding requests exceed the $4 million available.
  • The maximum any one entity could receive from the fund is $50,000.
  • Funding may be available where the cost of repairs (for example to fences, water reticulation) exceeds the limited cover provided by insurance. Applicants will need to deduct any insured amount that can be claimed from insurers.
  • Funding is not available for repairs that can be insured, but were not.

What you should repair now

  • Don't wait for the Earthquake Relief Fund to make essential repairs. Contact your insurer as soon as possible. Document, photograph and keep receipts for work carried out.
  • Due to the large quantity of damage the earthquake caused, the total cost of repairs is expected to be greater than the $4 million available. People are advised to make any repairs they can afford now rather than waiting and expecting to receive a grant.
  • You don't have to have repairs completed before applying for a grant.

How to apply

Keep or gather any evidence or information you have about the cost of repairs, and that they are uninsurable.

Fill in the application form [PDF, 484 KB]

Send in the form by 28 February 2017 to:

Email: pierf@marlborough.govt.nz
Post: PI Earthquake Relief Fund
Marlborough District Council
15 Seymour Street
PO Box 443
Blenheim 7240

Where can I get help with my application?

  • If you do not know if your repairs are insured or not, you will need to talk to your insurer.
  • If you have any questions contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP).

When will I find out if I am successful?

  • Decisions will be made by 31 March 2017 and you will be advised of the outcome of your application shortly after. In some urgent cases you may be contacted before the deadline.

Find out more

Read the Kaikōura Earthquake Relief Fund Factsheet [PDF, 103 KB]

Flexible tax arrangements

Flexible tax arrangements are available in some cases if you've been affected by the earthquake, including:

  • late deposits and early withdrawals for affected farmers and fishers
  • waiving interest and penalties for late filing and payments of tax
  • GST exemption for Ministry of Social Development (MSD) pay-outs to employers.

Talk to your accountant for details, or contact Inland Revenue:

Road access and travel

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is managing all roads in and around the affected areas. The Kaikōura inland road (route 70) will be opened for unrestricted use from 8am on Monday 19 December 2016. 

For more information, contact the NZTA:

The Earthquake Commission

An agreement between private insurers and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) will simplify how home and contents insurance claims are resolved for people affected by the Kaikōura Earthquake. Private insurers will act as EQC’s agents and receive, assess and settle home and contents claims for earthquake damage from their own customers, even those claims that are under the EQC cap. EQC will assess land damage as land is not covered by private insurance policies.

Customers are encouraged to lodge a claim with their private insurer in the first instance. Where customers have already lodged home building or contents claims with EQC, these will be passed onto their insurer by EQC so there is no need for people to make another call.

EQC has also asked customers to be aware that some homeowners have been approached by men claiming to be builders for EQC. EQC staff will assess land claims in the New Year and always have photo ID.

You can contact the EQC on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 32 62 43).

Fisheries closures

Closures are in place for 3 areas affected by the earthquake:

Detailed information is available on each area's Fishing rules page.


Sign up to help affected farmers

If you want to offer to help affected farmers, call Federated Farmers on 0800 FARMING (0800 32 76 46).

Federated Farmers appreciate all offers of help, but may not contact you for several weeks, depending on the number of rural people coming forward for help.

Health and safety of on-farm volunteers

Health and safety resources and forms are available for on-farm volunteers, organisers of volunteers and farmers.

Media releases

General guidance

Who to contact

If you have questions about the information on this web page or our response to this event:

For all media enquiries, email media@mpi.govt.nz or call 029 89 40 328.

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