By ROBYN BRISTOW
Hurunui Mayor Winton Dalley apologises to anyone who offered services to the system following the 7.8 magnitude North Canterbury earthquake and were not taken up.
“Many offers were made to the system but the system was not always able to utilise their offers.
“There were literally piles of information and when a new shift came in, offers may have been overlooked,” says Mr Dalley.
“There were offers that weren’t processed because the system to some extent was overloaded.
“Without local knowledge, about how to utilise those offers they were lost in the system.
“It is difficult for a guy from the Waikato to send an offer of help in the right direction,” he says.
“I apologise for the fact the system couldn’t cope and respond to every offer of help and please don’t be offended.”
Mr Dalley says he sends out a huge bouquet to the local Hurunui communities for their own personal response to the disaster and who took care of their neighbours and communities.
“I saw first hand last Tuesday night at Scargill, where I spent a fair part of the evening after a huge aftershock rocked the valley, the local community in action.
“They get in behind each other as we would expect, but it was amazing how the community took care of itself and they need to be proud of themselves.”
He thanks the people who responded from Auckland to Invercargill to help out the Hurunui District Council.
“Without them we couldn’t have managed,” he says.
Land Search and Rescue teams were “fantastic and a huge bouquet to them too” and thank you for the great support of visiting building inspection teams who inspected some 1200 buildings in the first four days and have now done 3000.
About 60 homes have been red stickered in the Hurunui District and about 30 in Kaikoura in the quake that was land based and left cracks, crevasses and farm land changed forever.
“There was a huge amount of administration involved also and of course there were welfare response teams.
“It was literally overwhelming, absolutely amazing the generosity shown.’
Other thanks from Mr Dalley goes to the staff at the Hurunui District Council who responded immediately. “In my view they were amazing”. We had roading engineers and staff out within a short time in the dark checking infrastructure.
“We had virtually all our roads serviceable, including the Inland Road to the boundary with the Kaikoura District council within 30 hours of the event and access to all communities within two days and tanker access to every dairy farm in the Hurunui and no milk was spilt with all cows being milked within the first 24 hours.
Mainpower also deserved “huge bouquet”for its efficiency in getting power back on to everyone in very difficult and trying circumstances.
“Telcos less so,” says Mr Dalley.
Huge hours were put in by water men to get water back on to Waiau and its rural surrounds after both schemes suffered serious damage. This work is ongoing.
Millions of litres of water was trucked in by tanker for domestic and stock water throughout both schemes.
“If I was to single out any organisation which put in a huge effort it would be the Waiau Volunteer Fire Brigade which weather-proofed homes and also took on the delivery of water. Many volunteers put the community before their own personal needs,” he says.