Kaikōura 'won't be the same' until SH1 reopens

1:58 pm on 5 January 2017

A Kaikōura cheese maker says local businesses will need continued support from the government until State Highway 1 north of the town reopens.

State highway 1 - north of Kaikoura

State Highway 1 north of Kaikōura was badly damaged in the earthquake, with several landslides covering the road in places. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The road has been closed since November's 7.8 magnitude earthquake and is not expected to fully reopen until the end of 2017.

Kaikōura Cheese owner and cheesemaker Daniel Jenkins is one of many employers receiving financial support following the quake.

He said the government's support package was due to end in March and should be extended.

"I'm guessing that the ministers are going to be looking at that pretty closely and if they want businesses to stick around, that's going to have to come through until that main north road opens."

Owner of Kaikoura Cheese, Daniel Jenkins.

Owner of Kaikōura Cheese, Daniel Jenkins. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The town's mayor, Winston Gray, said the closure was affecting visitor numbers and the town would not be the same until the road reopened.

"To be honest, until that highway north is open it won't be the same. It's going to be a quiet winter, there's no doubt about it.

"We've got a lift now with the holiday period, quite a lot of domestic tourists in here and so things are happening - but it's just at a different level to what we're used to."

Mr Gray said it was expected there would be some limited access north along State Highway 1 before the road reopened fully.

Landslide covers state highway 1 - north of Kaikoura

One of the landslides north of Kaikōura. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

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