Temporary quake houses open
Temporary accommodation has opened for earthquake-affected Waiau residents eight months after the disaster struck.
Four insulated and double-glazed twobedroom houses have been transported from the Rawhiti Domain temporary accommodation in Christchurch to the Waiau site. The other 16 Rawhiti homes were sold to farmers in need in the Hurunui district.
Waiau was one of the worst affected centres following the magnitude-7.8 quake on November 14.
More than half of the dwellings in the township were damaged, forcing many to leave the village or live in tents or caravans temporarily.
Margaret and Uliph Amuketi were the first to move into the new units.
Margaret Amuketi said the couple had been living in her daughter’s garage after their house was red-stickered due to damage from the earthquake.
‘‘We’re getting to that stage we need our own space, because we were living in the garage and we were getting cold.’’
Amuketi, who has lived in Waiau for 40 years, said moving into the unit was wonderful, and she ‘‘couldn’t ask for anything better’’.
Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith, who was on site for the opening yesterday, said the units came with heat pumps and were ‘‘designed to be resistant to seismic activity and severe weather conditions’’.
‘‘They will ensure households have a warm, safe and dry place to stay while their home is repaired and rebuilt.’’ Hurunui Mayor Winton Dalley said one family was already living in the new accommodation, and several others had shown interest in staying there while their houses were repaired.
‘‘As demand for the village decreases, the Hurunui District Council will decide how the houses will best be used for the local community.’’ Dalley said the temporary accommodation allowed residents to remain ‘‘part of our community’’.
Smith said the Government sold the houses to the council for $24,510 each and paid to transport them to Waiau. They were on a site the council bought from the Presbyterian Church.
Those interested in living in the units needed to get in touch with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Temporary Accommodation Service, which would recommend suitable candidates to the council.
The council would make the final call about placements and would run the dayto-day management of the units.