Responding to the Kaikōura/Marlborough earthquake


I am praying for all the people of New Zealand at this time of the earthquakes. Pope Francis, November 2016

New Zealand experienced a severe 7.8 earthquake just after midnight on 13 November 2016, centred at Waiau, near Hamner Springs and Kaikōura in the Upper North Island.  The earthquake’s effects were felt widely throughout New Zealand, but the impact was most severe in the Archdiocese of Wellington in the area of the Marlborough parish of Te Whetu o te Moana – Star of the Sea. The Archdiocese of Wellington is grateful to people throughout New Zealand who donated through appeals run by the Catholic Caring Foundation and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

Catholic social services is working alongside local groups and coordinating the distribution of funds.  So far, Archdiocesan projects have included:

  • Whakatu Rangatahi/Challenge 2000 holiday programme: Support for a holiday programme run by local youth workers with the support of a large team from Challenge 2000
  • Caring for the carers: Support and supervision from Catholic social services staff for people on the front lines of the Kaikōura response at Te Tai o Marokura social services and Star of the Sea parish
  • Stormbirds training: Training for teachers at Kaikōura’s five primary schools to run the Stormbirds programme to assist children who have experienced trauma from natural disasters
  • Advocacy and budget advice: Support for the advocacy and budget service offered by Te Tai o Marokura social services, which lost government funding immediately before the earthquake. Numbers of clients seeking assistance has risen since the earthquake.
  • He Whakautu Atawhai: Support for increased Māori pastoral care presence in Kaikōura and Marlborough
  • Counselling and supervision: Increased capacity for Catholic social services to offer counselling, supervision and case management in the south island part of the Archdiocese.

Several other projects are currently in the process of development.
The priorities for Archdiocesan funds are:
·         Support for children and families
·         Caring for the carers
·         Supporting young people
·         Advocacy for earthquake affected groups
·         Support for stressed farmers
·         Support for Marlborough parish and Archdiocesan vicariates pastoral response
·         Longer-term conversations about the economic future

The Archdiocese of Wellington works in partnership with local groups, recognizing the subsidiarity of local groups.  We prioritise earthquake responses which reach out to the most vulnerable, engaging with tangata whenua and supporting local parish and Archdiocesan vicariate pastoral initiatives.

For more information on the Archdiocese of Wellington response please contact l.beech@wn-catholicsocialservices.org.nz 04-385-8642