Awatere Valley parish nurse Rachael Westenra and her husband Warren were on their farm, near Seddon, when Monday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck. Not long after, they were on the road checking on elderly people in the community.
When RNZ spoke to her this morning she was about to head out again. She told Marcus Stickley what the past few days have meant for her and the community she's been part of for 30 years.
That evening we had come home from Christchurch and we were tucked up in bed, as you are at midnight. We just dived out of bed and dived for cover when the earthquake started. It just went on and on and on.
There was no power. You could hear everything crashing around you. And we literally - and I know now it's not the right thing to do - stood in the doorway together and just held onto the doorway because otherwise we would have been knocked off our feet. It was just a matter of standing there until things calmed a wee bit.
I knew I had a lot of elderly people who were on their own out in the community, so I said to my husband: "Look, I need to go make sure these people are OK."
At about 1.30am, we got dressed and went to Seddon and started going around to some of my elderly people, just to check that they were OK and sit with them.
It's a role I have. I'm employed by the churches to support all the elderly people within our community. We are isolated; there's no GP out here.
On one of the streets, people had gathered and lit a brazier and were just sitting around huddled in blankets supporting each other. People were very good at gathering each other up and ensuring they were alright. I know that happened in quite a few places.
We called into the school because there was a gathering there for people who needed support. It wasn't that they lost their home, the just wanted to be around other people.
We recognised that things were OK there, so we just continued within the area visiting my elderly.
I was astounded as to the calmness that there was. There was a lot of disarray but generally, people were seriously calm. I really commend them for that, because the aftershocks had kept coming. They were still really big and fearsome.
Neighbours had also been very good. Most places we went to, the neighbours next door had called in. The community had rallied very quickly.
The next day it was just a matter of going back and helping people mop up their pantries and broken glass and plates and things like that - just getting them back to a little bit of normality. I couldn't do anything here without power or water, so I just left the mess. I thought, well, I can go and help other people.
Here at home, I've got jam and peanut butter and beetroot preserve tidied up, but still all over the floor because I can't do any cleaning. At the moment my pantry's out, my fridge is out and everything's out and everything's still on the bench and dirty. But that's OK. It'll happen. It's just a matter of waiting for the water.
We can still live quite easily here. We've got a generator at the backdoor and we've got a little element that sits next to it and an extension cord. We're literally going between switching the power between the freezer and the little element, to boil some water, and the phone charger.
That's our means of power at the moment and we've been using neighbours' showers, which has been great.
We don't think we have too much damage, other than broken things which are all replaceable. There are cracks in the chimney and around the foundations of the house. Whether that's certainly the place is very liveable. It's a big old 100-year-old home. It just rocks with the earthquakes, really. We're very fortunate.
Our eldest son is getting married in our garden in a month's time. I was bit concerned about how much devastation we might have, but other than smashed pots we're still going to be OK. We should be fine.
There are people who were struck badly last time [in 2013]. It's pretty devastating for families like that.
I don't think there's the same level of structural damage in Seddon. But places further south there is, like around Clarence, and I believe people in Ward have been struck more severely.
I think there'll be more resolve this time. There was a lot of fear and anxiety last time, but this time I think people are far more resilient and resolved to the situation. I think the community will manage it far better.
Everybody's there for everybody else. I know of lots of people who've taken in families and are supporting other people through this time. That's what a community is all about.