NZ earthquake: Long road ahead for Kaikoura businesses

NZ earthquake: Long road ahead for Kaikoura businesses

Power has been restored to more homes in Kaikoura on Tuesday.

Shops are starting to open and damage is slowly being assessed. But it'll be a long road ahead for the businesses in the tourist town.

There are growing queues for much-needed supplies. For one family and their goat, water is the main priority, and food to share with the friends they're now staying with. Lyn Meikle is still reeling from the damage to her motel - her livelihood.

"That's it," she says. "My life stopped on the 14th of November."

Later she showed Newshub just how damaged it is.

"Booked out all of November, December, January, February to 2018 - just have to hang in there."

While business owners cope with long-term impact, the town's still struggling to get the necessities.

Tensions were high at a local garage after the owner tried to tell his customers the fuel was for emergency services only.

A public meeting held in the town today drew hundreds. The main advice was "hang in there".

There are warnings to preserve water if they have it, as the town's supply runs short, and promises of more food, Portaloos and drinking water.

A beacon of hope is the Inland Road could be open by Saturday, finally allowing vehicles to access the town.

But it will take longer to clear State Highway 1 between Seddon and Cheviot.

"We're clearly talking several months to get that back into a position where we have State Highway 1 open all the way down the coast," says Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

Many tourists weren't waiting around for roads to open. Some of the tourists leaving on helicopters have been driving rental vehicles. One school turned into a bit of a holding yard for cars and campers.

Some tourists may retrieve them once the road opens, or companies have to recover them themselves.

They'll be among the insurance claims pouring in.

"It's quite serious what we're seeing so far with the slips and damage around homes and properties," says Vero Insurance's Jimmy Higgins.

Early estimates put the cost of the infrastructure rebuild at $2.5 billion, and the Government is assuring residents that they'll help with the short- and long-term impacts on the tourist town.

Newshub.

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