TODAY |

Fundraising on a faultline: earthquake-hit communities call on NZ's spare change

Escalating building costs are draining communities still recovering from the Seddon and Kaikōura earthquakes.

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Awatere residents, who live between Blenheim and Kaikoura, are asking for help building a much-needed learning centre. Source: 1 NEWS

Now Awatere residents are asking for help to build a much-needed learning centre with a $1.8m price tag - 20 cents at a time.

"This fundraiser came from the need to repair or rebuild the Awatere Plunket building, the Awatere Playcentre building and the Awatere Early Learning Centre," explained 'Shaking Change for Good' fundraiser Ally Avery.

They want to replace the damaged buildings with one early learning hub for Seddon, Ward, Kēkerengū and Clarence kids.

To achieve their goal, they're asking for enough donations to theoretically cover the distance of fault lines ruptured during the Kaikōura earthquake. 

"One-hundred-and-eighty kilometres of fault line rupture equalled heartbreak and despair for our communities. But 180 kilometres of 20 cent pieces equals hope and rebuilding of our communities' futures," Mrs Avery said.

"We've offered people the opportunity to buy a metre for ten dollars. You can buy a hundred metres for a thousand dollars or a kilometre for ten thousand dollars".

Large cracks can be seen on the outside of the current Awatere preschool. 

The Kaikōura quake undid repair work from the Seddon quake in 2013, which the community also paid for, as the centres can't be insured against earthquakes.

Early Childhood Education Rebuild Committee playcentre representative Olivia Doonan says the buildings are safe for the children to be in, but "they're not weather tight, these buildings are not going to be secure for the long term".

And when they're not there, many children are still returning to temporary homes.

Ward Resident Millie Volckman told 1 NEWS her family had to shift into their garage following the Kaikōura earthquake, before moving "to our neighbouring house which we're still in. So we're currently rebuilding our house at the moment.

"To have something for the kids to go to, that doesn't change, is something big for them - just to keep a bit of normality in their lives."

So far, more than $600,000 has been raised, with the help of the Lotteries Commission, Rata Foundation and Women's Institute.

And with every 20 cent piece donated, the community is inching towards its goal.

Donations can be made on the Shaking Change for Good website