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Two years’ progress since the Kaikoura earthquake

14 November 2018

Today marks two years since the 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake that dramatically changed the landscape and disrupted the lives of so many.

Mayor John Leggett said that today was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016.

“In many ways Marlborough has shown great resilience and has come through the impact of the earthquake well. Most of our businesses were able to get up and running quickly.

“While building and land damage was very significant for the East Coast, Seddon and Ward, the impact of the closure of State Highway 1 also had a major impact on Marlborough’s wider community and of course our tourism industry.”

“Since the highway reopened, the visitor economy quickly recovered and we are seeing very good growth in that sector. I’d like to thank Destination Marlborough and all the tourism operators for working together so effectively to enable this to happen.”

“Thank you to the many people, too numerous to mention by name, who have contributed to the earthquake recovery programme - it has been a huge effort by hundreds of individuals and organisations.”

The priorities for Council over the past two years have focused on repairs and reinstatement, he said.

“Our repair programme has stretched out over the last 24 months. We’ve focused on infrastructure, much of it essential repairs to quake-damaged roads, stormwater and sewerage systems, and the reinforcement or replacement of community facilities. The work is diverse, ranging from strengthening the Stadium 2000 building, scoping the damage to Blenheim’s sewer network, where repairs are now underway, and efforts by our rivers’ engineers to restore the flow of the Ōpaoa River.”

“Despite the events that Mother Nature served up, I’m incredibly proud of the resilience, determination and bravery shown by our community,” Mayor Leggett said.

“Freight trains are back up and running and the first passenger train since the 2016 earthquake is set to run from Picton to Kaikoura on Friday 23 November – just in time for summer.”

ENDS

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