Disaster Welfare and Support Team members from Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill were deployed to Kaikoura following the quake, which destroyed homes and cut off road access to the town when it struck in the early hours of 14 November.

Dunedin members also spent time in Christchurch, supporting tourists evacuated from Kaikoura at Red Cross’ Woodend welfare centre.

In Kaikoura, teams have been visiting households to complete welfare checks and provide psychosocial support.

Red Cross Secretary General Tony Paine says the psychological effects of a disaster are harder to see than the physical damage, but they can have a lasting impact.

“Red Cross volunteers are trained in psychological first aid so they can provide emotional support in Kaikoura, or refer people to more comprehensive services if needed.”

Volunteers also supported a rural community centre at Kaikoura Suburban School, ensuring local farmers could access essential supplies like food and bottled water, as fuel is in short supply.