Some essential information about the November 2016 earthquake 


You’ll want to contact loved ones to check on them or to let them you are safe know that you are safe – it’s best to do this via Facebook, text or email, rather than by phone. Overseas loved ones of people in New Zealand can contact their Embassy or High Commission in New Zealand for news.

Anyone affected by the earthquake can call the Ministry of Health’s Earthquake Support Line (0800 777 846) for support and advice. It is available 24 hours x 7 days.

You can call the Government Helpline (0800 779 997) to find out how what assistance is available to you. More information about assistance from Work and Income is on their website.

If you have suffered loss or damage to your home as a result of the earthquake, you’ll find useful information about lodging a claim with Earthquake Commission (EQC) on their website.

However be aware that there is a scam going around, with callers claiming to represent EQC and requesting money in return for an earthquake assessment. EQC will never ask clients for money before carrying out an assessment. (Read our general information about scams).

A number of roads from north Canterbury through to Wellington are closed as a result of earthquake damage (and in some places, flooding). Up to date information about road closures around the country is on the NZ Transport Agency website.

At time of writing all CABs are open and all Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment offices are open again, but some Work and Income offices are closed until further notice.

You can keep up to date with the earthquake relief effort on the website of the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management and on the New Zealand Red Cross Facebook page.

The Red Cross has Disaster Welfare and Support Teams in Marlborough, providing items such as portaloos and water bladders, and door-knocking to check on people in affected areas. You can make a donation to support their efforts, online or by text (TXT REDCROSS to 3181 to donate $3).

Make sure you’re prepared for any future earthquakes or other natural disasters.