November 15, 2016: The New Zealand branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency is in communication with New Zealand’s Civil Defense to aid the town of Kaikoura on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The area was worst hit by the 7.5 magnitude eartquake on November 14 and is seriously damaged with communications, roads, water and sewage all affected.
No road access to Kaikoura is currently available. The country’s Civil Defense has supplied all aid so far by flying supplies into the isolated area, as well as airlifting out people with heart conditions or those in need of special assistance.
ADRA New Zealand’s CEO Denison Grellmann said the organization will make a decision as to how exactly to respond to the disaster as soon as road access is available and needs can be assessed. At least one road should be clear by Saturday or Sunday, November 19-20.
In the meantime, ADRA is organising groups of volunteers from the region and necessary equipment to support the operations once access is open.
In the previous Christchurch earthquake operations of 2011-2012, ADRA New Zealand provided psycho-social support and food distributions in partnership with Sanitarium (an Adventist food company in New Zealand & Australia).
ADRA might engage in a similar intervention but that will determined once more information of the needs are available.
The government of New Zealand is not seeking international aid to repond to the disaster.