Six heartwarming stories about New Zealanders response to the earthquakes

The 120 seconds of shaking that woke many of us in the early hours of last Monday morning was scary. Daylight revealed the enormous scale of what had happen when the earth moved minutes after midnight. It was soon clear that this was no small shake.

We know the recovery will take months, if not years. Yet, in the last week hope can be found in everyday New Zealanders who have done what we humans do best, and come together to help those in need.

Here’s a list of some of the most heartwarming moments of the last week:

Takahanga Marae volunteers dish up crays and paua for hungry locals. (Photo credit: Simon Makker, Red Cross)

1. Takahanga Marae — feeding thousands

In a wonderful display of manaakitanga (generosity, hospitality) Takahanga Marae opened it’s doors to local Kaikōura residents and hundreds of stranded tourists.

Over the last week volunteers at the marae have served more than 10,000 hot meals, provided shelter to hundreds and given people a much-needed sense of community. All this, despite not having power, running water or working sewage!

What’s even more awesome is that 90 percent of the food parcels provided were donated to the marae by the people of Christchurch. How’s that for community kindness?

Listen to the story on Morning Report here.

Spark WiFi Zones

2. Spark keeping whānau and friends connected with free WiFi

Spark — one of New Zealand’s largest telco companies also stepped up, offering free public wifi to everyone around the country so whānau and friends could get in touch with loved ones and stay up to date with the latest news.

Spark have more than 1000 wi-fi zones around the country.

We love it when business gets behind the community in very real and tangible ways. Nice work Spark!

Our Facebook post showing love to RNZ

3. Radio New Zealand’s excellent media coverage

Radio New Zealand has provided useful, timely and caring coverage of the quakes from the second they struck.

Journalist, Vicki McKay, stayed on air in the Wellington studio throughout the shaking and then proceeded to keep us calm and informed throughout that turbulent night. Since then RNZ has continued to perform its role as our valued national broadcaster with quality journalism of the recovery efforts.

RNZ has shown it’s worth. Show your support for RNZ here.

Image for Quake Ready Wellington campaign

4. Quake Ready Wellington is helping low-income families keep safe

Emergency services are predicting significant aftershocks and are reminding everyone to be prepared for another big quake in Wellington. Emergency kits can save lives but they cost money that not everyone can afford.

Thousands of people have donated to various efforts to raise funds for those affected by the quakes: Here’s one, here’s another, here’s one more.

One of these great initiatives has been launched by one our team members, Nina, who is working hard (in her free time) to supply quake ready kits to communities and families who can’t afford them. She’s partnered up with Wellington City Mission to make sure they get delivered and already people have donated enough money to provide kits to 24 families!

Click here to chip in to help families in Wellington get through.

Stephanie Wang pictured above. Photo credit: Simon Makker, Red Cross

5. Volunteers doing what they do best

Stephanie Wang, pictured above is a 23 year old American tourist who, decided to extend her stay in Kaikōura after the quake hit to help volunteer:

“I really was no rush to leave — I know there were people who had flights to catch — honestly I felt I was able-bodied, so I thought I might as well stick around and help out as much as possible.”

Wang helped put care packages for locals together — they contained water fresh vegetables, fruit, canned food, toiletries, and a newspaper. She is also volunteered at Takahanga marae.

Volunteers are at the heart of our communities and the response to this event is no different.

This news article highlights stories of more everyday New Zealanders volunteering their time and skills to help their neighbours and wider communities.

Palmerston North City Council staff are lending their support to victims of this week’s earthquake. (Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ)

6. Manawatū residents raising money for Kaikōura

Towns right around the country have demonstrated their support for Kaikōura over the last week with enormous signs of generosity.

The Manawatū community have been particularly organised, putting together mufti-days and other events to raise funds for medical supplies and food for those affected by the quakes. Nice work Manawatū!

These are just six examples of the tens of thousands of actions that people right around our country have taken to show how much we care about one another and our communities. It’s times like these that show the best in what it means to be a New Zealander.

“Aroha ki te tāngata, awhi ki te tāngata, ki te ao katoa.

Love for the people, support for the people, for the whole world.”

If you know of any other heartwarming examples of community action we should include, please send them through to us on ❤



Community campaigning organisation bringing people together to act in powerful and coordinated ways to create a fair and flourishing Aotearoa for all.

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Community campaigning organisation bringing people together to act in powerful and coordinated ways to create a fair and flourishing Aotearoa for all.