Information about assistance you and your family may receive if you’ve been affected by the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes. 

MAS insurance

The team at MAS is dedicated to ensuring that we support you in this time of need. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you haven’t already on 0800 800 627 or email us. You can also lodge a claim via our website.

While we will be most able to assist during business hours (8.00am to 5.30pm), please do not hesitate to contact us at any time that suits you. 

We appreciate some Members will require special care because they may be sick, elderly or infirmed. Please tell us if you require special help so we can help.

Your MAS policy may cover the cost of alternative accommodation if your property is uninhabitable because of earthquake-related damage. Please contact us for further information if this is relevant to your situation.

Civil Defence

Civil Defence is coordinating assistance to communities affected by this event. For queries related to roading, water and wastewater, civil defence centres or recovery assistance centres, contact your local civil defence team at your council.


Hurunui District Council             03 314 8816
Kaikoura District Council 03 319 5026
Marlborough District Council 03 520 7400 
Emergency Management Canterbury  
Wellington City Council  

Accommodation/housing support

If you don’t have temporary accommodation cover under your policy and need temporary accommodation support due to earthquake damage please contact the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997

If you’re in need of accommodation a person will work with you to understand your immediate housing needs and what on-going support you will need. In some cases temporary accommodation may be located for you outside of the region.   

The Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Environment are working together to provide temporary accommodation support.


In an emergency, you should always call 111

It is normal to feel upset after an earthquake. If you need support or advice or have feelings of anxiety, stress, prolonged fear, hopelessness or anger and need to talk with someone then phone the Earthquake Support Line. For health advice please call your GP or Healthline to talk to a registered nurse.

Earthquake Support Line 0800 777 846 (24/7)            
Healthline  0800 611 116 (24/7)
Kaikoura Hospital and Medical Centre (Deal Street) 03 319 3500 
Amuri Community Health Centre (Rotherham)      03 315 6328
Waikari Health Centre  03 314 4506
Cheviot Community Health Centre 03 319 8630

Food hygiene

There are a number of steps you can take, including taking steps to minimise food spoilage and taking basic steps to maintain food hygiene:

  • eat perishable foods, for example bread and meat, first and eat canned foods last
  • do not take fish or shellfish from local waterways as they may be contaminated with sewage
  • only open the fridge or freezer when you need to take food out
  • always wash and dry your hands before preparing food – if water is in short supply keep some in a bowl with disinfectant.

Check with your local council for any current ‘boil water’ notices.

Animal welfare

For any concerns you have about your pets and animals SPCA Canterbury can provide support and are making deliveries of donated pet food.

SPCA Canterbury

or Emergency 

03 349 7057

03 366 3886             

SPCA Website


Other useful phone numbers and websites

NZTA          0800 4 Highways (0800 44 44 49)
Citizens Advice Bureau 0800 367 222 
Get ready/Get thru  
Kidsline 0800 54 37 54 (24/7) 
Youthline 0800 376 633 Free TXT 234

Healthline    0800 611 116 (24/7)
Red Cross  
IRD 0800 775 247
ACC Claims 0800 101 996  


The Ministry of Education is working with all schools in the Kaikoura and Hurunui district to help them open as soon as possible. When students return to school is up to each individual school. It’s natural for children to be feeling nervous about returning to school and the Ministry of Education is ready to provide support and advice wherever they can.

The Ministry of Education is providing daily updates about schools in the affected areas on their website Ministry of Education

Free stress counselling and support available for MAS Members

It’s completely normal for you and your family to be emotionally and physically drained by the earthquakes. You’re not alone in feeling this way, and you don’t have to cope on your own.

A free counselling service is available 24/7 for Members through EAP Services, an independent counselling organisation. To make an appointment please call 0800 327 669 or go to

Alternatively, local qualified and experienced counsellors are also available free of charge at the Earthquake Support Line on 0800 777 846.

0800 Government Helpline

You can call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 from 7 am - 9 pm, seven days a week if you:

  • would like assistance
  • are struggling to support yourself, or your family
  • would like more information about how they can help.

Even if you don’t think you’d qualify, please call them because there are lots of ways they may be able to help, and they can point you in the right direction based on your situation. They may be able to organise payments for you over the phone.

Financial support for businesses and sole traders 

Work and Income can provide financial assistance to help you pay employees while you manage through the impact of the earthquakes.

The Earthquake Support Subsidy is a subsidy to help sole traders and small businesses impacted by the 14 November earthquakes. It aims to help you retain your staff and continue to pay them while you transition back to business-as-usual:

  • it is paid for a maximum period of eight weeks and will be backdated from 14 November 2016
  • it is paid at a rate of $500 gross per week for full-time employees, and $300 per week for part-time employees
  • the employer is responsible for paying GST, ACC levies, PAYE and holiday pay, and any other employment-related expenses in respect of the employee(s).

Payment will be made by lump sum for a period of up to four weeks.

Who can get the Earthquake Support Subsidy?

To be eligible for the subsidy, the following conditions must be met:

  • you can’t operate or are operating at a reduced capacity because of the earthquakes
  • you have no other way to pay your employees, including insurance cover
  • you’re located in the Kaikoura, Cheviot, Ward, Rotherham, Waiau, and Mount Lyford areas. (The subsidy is available in other geographic areas if you can provide evidence of earthquake-related impact.)
  • you’re a sole trader or small business with fewer than 20 employees.

It’s easy to apply

Just ring or call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 and they’ll talk with you about your situation and let you know how to apply. You’ll need to tell  them:

  • your business IR number
  • your business bank account number
  • details of the staff you want the subsidy for (employees’ names, dates of birth, IR numbers and their normal hours of work).

Payments are made directly to your business bank account

They will pay you directly. You’re responsible for continuing to pay your employees.

Please call the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 to find out more, or visit

Support for rural communities

Local councils are providing assistance to rural communities affected by this event. For queries related to road access or telecommunication issues, contact your local civil defence team at your council.

Rural Assistance Payments are available through Work and Income to help farming families who are temporarily unable to produce sufficient income to meet essential basic living costs. The level of assistance is usually equivalent to the Jobseeker Support benefit.

Rural Support Trusts provide assistance and support to the rural community in times of hardship. To contact your local Rural Support Trust coordinator for information about assistance and support on call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit

If you are an affected farmer you can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 for support.

Ministry for Primary Industries 0800 00 83 33

Civil Defence payments

Extra financial support has been made available for people in these locations:  Hurunui, Kaikoura, Seddon and Ward.

Civil Defence payments can cover the following costs:

  • payments if you’re hosting evacuees (private homes, marae or community centres)
  • accommodation costs if you’ve evacuated and are staying in tourist accommodation (motels, hotels or temporary rental accommodation)
  • loss of livelihood (where you can’t work and have lost your income because of the earthquake)
  • food, clothing and bedding (immediate needs up to a maximum amount).

You can call the Government Helpline 0800 779 997 to find out more about this.

Support for Iwi, hapū and whānau Māori

Te Puni Kōkiri provide advice and support for whānau and friends affected by the Kaikoura earthquakes. To find out more visit or contact the local office in your area.

Lower Hutt email:           04 570 3180
Nelson   email: 03 539 0687
Christchurch   email: 0800 875 839