US Navy helicopters to help quake recovery
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has accepted an offer from the United States for two of its helicopters to help carry people out of Kaikoura.
The SH-60 Seahawks are already in New Zealand aboard the USS Sampson - a warship the US sent to attend our Navy's 75th Anniversary.
The US choppers will work alongside New Zealand's four NH-90 helicopters which are on standby at Blenheim's Woodbourne Air Base waiting for inclement weather to pass.
"As you're aware, the USS Sampson is in town as part of the 75th anniversary of the navy," says Prime Minister John Key.
"It has two helicopters on board and the Americans have offered those two helicopters to provide ferrying services as well," he says.
In addition to Seahawks, the Americans have offered a P3 Orion surveillance aircraft which will join the current P3 fleet of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
An offer of help from Japan's military has also been accepted, although it's unclear what equipment it will send down.