6 May 2017

Waiau's only pub reopens in its own carpark

1:23 pm on 6 May 2017

The only pub in quake-hit town Waiau has re-opened in a temporary building in its own car park.

Temporary pub at Waiau

The temporary pub at Waiau set up in the original pub's car parking lot. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

The 107-year-old Waiau Lodge Hotel was red-stickered after November's 7.8 magnitude quake left it badly damaged.

The lodge's co-owner, Michelle Beri, said they had not done any trading out of the building since it was cordoned off nearly six months ago.

She said it was "a long time to have no income".

At 9am today, the pub re-opened in a temporary building, set up in the carpark of the historic lodge. Ms Beri said it would be a morale booster for people in the town to have a place to meet up and chat.

She said it had been missing out on the extra business since the quake, with the on-and-off closure of State Highway 1 forcing people to take the alternative inland route through Waiau to get to Kaikōura.

The Waiau Lodge Hotel pub, which was damaged in the earthquake in November.

The Waiau Lodge Hotel pub, which was damaged in the earthquake in November. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

"We've got a lot a lot of contractors around here and they're staying at different places and they're obviously wanting to come here and have a beer," she said.

Ms Beri said it wasn't clear how long the pub would operate out of the site.

"Hopefully we are going to be allowed to trade here for as long as possible,

"To fix up the big hotel it's going to take a lot of work, a lot of planning, a lot of time and obviously finance is the big thing," Ms Beri said.

Rugby day to bring quake affected towns together

The Cheviot-Glenmark division-two team in practice.

The Cheviot-Glenmark division-two team in practice. Photo: Supplied

While Waiau businesses have been benefiting from the closure of State Highway 1, locals from Cheviot, which the highway runs through, said things had been incredibly quiet.

Resident Jane Thompson said Cheviot had turned into a "ghost town" when the road closed.

"Cafes have started reducing staff hours," she added.

She said it was hoped a historical rematch between two neighbouring rugby clubs - which had not happened for about 20 years - would help draw people to the town over the weekend.

The Kaikōura Rugby team was expected to travel to Cheviot to Cheviot today to take on the Cheviot Glenmark Division-2 team at 1pm.

Ms Thompson said cafes in the town were putting on special deals for the day because of the match.

One of the life members of the Cheviot Rugby Club, Bryan Harris, said it had been "bloody ages" since the two teams played each other.

Mr Harris said Cheviot locals were looking forward to welcoming the Kaikoura people to their town for the Club Day in Cheviot.

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