Waiau residents salvage belongings from condemned homes

Waiau residents (Newshub.)
Waiau residents (Newshub.)

In the tiny north Canterbury settlement of Waiau, residents are suffering without water.

Busted water pipes are being repaired - the main supply still isn't safe to drink. The community is doing what it can to survive.

They're getting by through the kindness of strangers - donations from the surrounding districts are being delivered to those most in need.

The power's back on for the community of 400, but that's not much use to those whose homes have been condemned. Residents are still salvaging what they can from their broken homes.

Eight homes have been given a red sticker. That means they are no longer safe to live in and because of the risk to the public, they'll need to be demolished in the coming days.

It's hard coming home when your home has been ruined. On one house, there's no front door and no walls - Sez Nathan's just grateful she and her three daughters got out alive.

She made it out with nothing - she's borrowed some clothes, and her children's belongings still adorn the broken walls.

"We are just lucky we belong to an amazing community group," she says.

"We are all pretty resilient people here - the Waiau community . So as they say you just pick yourself up and start all over again."

A Givealittle page has been set up for Sez Nathan.

It's that attitude that keeps the people here going - a determination to get on and help others even though they've lost so much.

Food is being prepared at the local school, and around 70 people have been sleeping in cars or in one of the classrooms as a means of temporary accommodation.

With the aftershocks that continue to rattle this region, many simply don't feel safe staying at home.


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