Recovery, remembrance and resilience in Kaikōura one year on

It's one year to the day since a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake tore through the north Canterbury region.

On Tuesday morning Kaikōura remembered the two lives lost during the quakes with the unveiling of a memorial sculpture marking one year since the disaster.

One of those victims was Jo-Anne Mackinnon, who died at Mt Lyford when the quake hit. Her mother Leila Knight laid flowers on Tuesday in memory of her daughter.

Earthquake, Kaikoura
Jo-Anne Mackinnon. Photo credit: Supplied

The sculpture was made out of three whale bones that were unearthed during the quake.

Two of them represent the two people who lost their lives in the earthquake, the third represents the upheaval locals have faced over the past year.

The earthquake, which struck near the north Canterbury town of Culverden shortly after midnight on November 14, 2016, left at least 57 others injured.

Since then, more than 19,000 earthquakes or aftershocks have been recorded by GeoNet. 

Progress one year on

Around $351 million has been spent repairing Kaikōura's roads, rail and harbour, since the devastating quakes.

A 144-metre bridge, built to connect with a network of seawalls north of Kaikōura, is on track to be the fastest build of a seven-span bridge in New Zealand history, constructed over just 14 weeks.

"I've never done a bridge this quickly, I don't think many people have," North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery project manager James Kelly says.

"The guys are doing 12-hour days minimum - six days a week, sometimes seven."