TODAY |

First sighting: Both NZ Navy ships arrive in Kaikoura to rescue stranded tourists

There's been a welcome sight in Kaikoura this morning with the HMNZS Wellington and the HMNZS Canterbury both spotted arriving off the coast.

The HMNZS Wellington will survey the seabed but other ships are on their way to ferry people out. Source: 1 NEWS

The HMNZS Canterbury is bringing desperately needed supplies to the community cut off by this week's 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

Seven hundred tourists are still waiting to be evacuated from Kaikoura, currently cut off by landslips.

The New Zealand navy is coming to the rescue in the aftermath of the quake, joining the Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

Five hundred of those are expected to be ferried out of Kaikoura today, based on a priority list.

The earthquake has put a spanner in the works for the Navy, who had a big party planned this week to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

1 NEWS reporter Lisa Davies says the local marae has been doing a brilliant job, but like the rest of the town, is in need of relief. Source: 1 NEWS

There’ve been almost 900 aftershocks recorded by GeoNet since the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck near Culverden. Source: 1 NEWS

It was set to welcome international ships with a gun salute and fleet review, but that's been disrupted with many diverting to Kaikoura.