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.

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