Supplies reach quake victims
A northern Southland truck driver got a first hand look at quake damage in North Canterbury on Saturday when he drove a truck full of donated supplies into the area.
Switzer’s Valley Transport owner Murray Maslin, of Wendonside, said he was approached by the organisers of a Southland online appeal to get supplies to the area, to see if he could donate a truck and a driver for the trip north.
Maslin got behind the wheel himself, leaving at 2.50am on Saturday morning to reach Cheviot at 12noon to be unloaded.
‘‘We had a bit of everything on board. A lot of food and household supplies and a lot of stuff donated from southern businesses, so it was great to be able to help and get it all up there where it’s needed.’’
‘‘There was pipe to help fix water supplies and building materials as well.’’
He also took some donated supplies that had been left at Mainfreight in Invercargill and Gore
Cheviot had not suffered a lot of physical damage to buildings from the quake, but its businesses were struggling already due to the closure of State Highway 1, he said.
‘‘The roads up there were fine, it’s towards the coast further where it’s not good.
‘‘The only damage we saw was about 5km out of the town where a cutting at the side of the road had slumped away. The people I was talking to said the damage is further north about 4km past Cheviot, up around Parnassus.
‘‘But all those little businesses in Cheviot like the cafeterias and shops, all that sort of thing are buggered, they’re going to struggle because they relied on traffic going through to Kaikoura and it’s not anymore.’’
The supplies were unloaded and helicoptered in to Kaikoura on Sunday to be distributed to quake victims.
‘‘People in Cheviot thought it was marvellous that we’d come all the way up with donations, and I’ve had a couple of texts saying everything has been distributed to the people that needed it and thanks to everyone that donated.’’
Maslin said he didn’t hesitate when asked if he could take a truck into the quake affected area.
‘‘When your clients ask for help, it’s just what you do.
‘‘I’d like to think if something like that happened to us down here they’d help us out too.’’
Murray Maslin drove supplies to Cheviot to be distributed to earthquake victims on Saturday.