Ross Ward and his wife Helen Sangster grow grapes on a 13 hectare block of land in Ward. They're now living in a borrowed horse truck after the quake wrecked their small wooden cottage.
They're one of at least nine families in the Marlborough district forced out of their homes by the 7.8 earthquake last month - the worst hit areas being around Ward and Seddon.
Ross Ward said his damaged house had been yellow-stickered.
"We'll go in for short periods of time but as far as I'm concerned we'll never live in the house again. Not after that."
He said they were waiting for their luck to turn.
"We've been here 12 years and we've had two floods, two earthquakes, a windstorm - we've both had issues with cancer. I'm a volunteer fire brigade member and they had some support people come in. As I said to them, 'why does my number keep coming up?'
"We've had a bit of bad luck."
Marlborough public health officials say there are signs more people are beginning to struggle with the aftermath of the quake and it plans to extend counselling clinics until Christmas. The district council is accommodating nine families and others left homeless have found their own temporary accommodation.
Down the road from the Wards, young farmers Tom and Angela Loe have just moved back into their home from a tent pitched on the lawn.
The historic family farm and homestay near Cape Campbell suffered minor damage, but the aftershocks rattling the house were too much for their young family.
Mr Loe said the biggest blow was the closure of State Highway 1.
"Our farming practices are going to be tested or, if not, they'll have to change. We have done a lot of trading of stock being so close to the main highway, so we'll have to re-strategise how we manage our farming practice."
Vicar Dawn Daunauda, in Seddon, is among many who's only just getting over the severe 2013 quakes.
She was saying grace at a pre-Christmas party for the Awatere Garden Club in the town when RNZ visited.
"For some, it is too much. They can't put the bricks back on again and keep on going. For me - I'm okay but part of me is in denial."
Robyn Dawson said she had had enough and was leaving Marlborough.
"We got smashed last time and my husband and I made the decision we're moving home to Te Anau next week. We've had enough."
Garden club president Helen Harris said some who lived alone remained so frightened they were staying with friends at night.
"Everyone's very, very vulnerable. It just doesn't stop shaking and at this point in time, the lack of sleep really affects people as well."
Just a few kilometres further down the road, the scene could hardly be more different.
At Yealands Estate vineyard, rows of grapes dominate the Seddon hills which slope down to the sea.
The winery had minor damage from the quake and the cellar doors were closed for a few days following, but chief operations officer Michael Wentworth said they were fully operational again.
He was thankful the modern winery was built to the seismic conditions of the area.
"It was built to withstand an 8 on the Richter scale, so the building performed exactly as it should. There was no damage other than superficial stuff that you clean up and move on," Mr Wentworth said.
Marlborough District Council said those in difficult circumstances in the run up to Christmas could apply to the mayoral earthquake fund for emergency financial help.
Priority would be given to those needing essentials for daily life, those who are uninsured or for whom costs would not be covered by insurance, or who faced particular financial burden due to the earthquake.
The council also said it would cover the shortfall of about $34,000 from its emergency reserves to fund the rebuild of Ward's water reticulation network.