The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Feeding the hungry in post-quake Kaikōura

We are continuing to work with the Archdiocese of Wellington to support Kaikōura in their earthquake recovery, particularly through our partner, social services provider Te Tai ō Marokura (based at Takahanga marae), who provided extensive assistance to visitors and locals in the immediate post-quake response.

Three months after the earthquake, Te Tai ō Marokura continues to assist people with basic food needs, and is seeing new clients - people who would not normally seek, or need help.

Though other organisations operating in the region are turning down offers of food, Te Tai ō Marokura Manager Riria Allen says they still have families in great need. 

“The insurance company VERO sponsored several hundred Bargain Boxes (food parcels with recipes that have enough food in them to feed four people for five days) and went to four different organisations in Kaikoura, who all turned them down,” says Ms Allen. 

“They rang Te Tai, and we said, ‘Of course we can get rid of them. Just last Sunday, we had a hundred boxes delivered to Kaikoura, to Te Tai. We got rid of them in an hour.’

“We know that there’s whanau out there who are starving and who still need that extra support.”

While some organisations say people need to be using the local supermarket, and be prepared for future quakes, Riria says, “We’re dealing with whanau who can’t even feed their children for the week, let alone put away a tin of baked beans. People are still struggling.”

She talks about a woman who moved house the weekend before the earthquake hit with her parents, daughter and son. They had moved and had everything stored in her room, when the quake hit and the home was badly damaged and unlivable. The whole garage went into the river. 

“Everything got destroyed. They have nothing. They have absolutely nothing,” Ms Allen says.

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