Paula Bennett heads to Kaikoura

  • 18/01/2017
badly damaged road in Kaikoura
The earthquake caused major damage to infrastructure (File)

Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett is heading to Kaikoura to see how the recovery from last year's 7.8 quake is going.

On November 14 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the coastal town and destroyed many gomes and businesses.

Ms Bennett is the minister of tourism so the visit on Wednesday will include meeting tourism operators.

The government has supported small businesses with a package since the quake and is investing heavily in restoring infrastructure.

The coastal settlement relies on the whale watching and hospitality industries and the quake occurred at the start of the peak season.

Many ministers have been visiting Kaikoura to reassure the community.

On Monday Whale Watch Kaikoura said it has been two months since the earthquake and there has been a huge amount of progress made since then.

"Over the last week we have been able to see sperm whales, dusky dolphins, Hector's dolphins, NZ fur seals, marine birds," the operator said.

The quake uplifted the coastline and the Kaikoura marina is being dredged.

The operator is using a modified trailer to launch vessels.

"Launching from the trailer is how we loaded our passengers in the old days of whale watching," the company says.

NZN