Kaikōura locals who have been cut off from the rest of the country for a fortnight were able to re-group and catch up with neighbours at a community event organised by volunteers.
About 300 people turned up, despite a last-minute venue change from Churchill Park to Takahanga Domain because of high winds.
Gusty westerlies had caused a sports day that was due to go ahead yesterday to be cancelled.
Māori wardens and Kaikōura district mayor Winston Gray were among those on barbecue duty, dishing out about 800 sausages.
Local police sergeant Matt Boyce offered children turns wearing his hat, in exchange for their help washing his dusty patrol car.
Other police officers, along with defence force staff, joined locals for friendly games of volleyball and pole tennis.
Local woman Jackie Wadsworth said the gathering was really important for people.
"You know people are fine, because you hear through the grapevine, but to see people yourself, to touch base, is great."
Winston Gray said he thought people might have used the day to take a well-earned rest, so it was positive to see so many people in attendance.
"It's really important to keep that social network going."