Kaikoura harbour to re-open, PM reaffirms support a year on from devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told the community of Kaikoura that "the government will be with them for the long haul" a year on from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake.

The town was left badly battered by the quake which destroyed the main railway line through the region. Source: Breakfast

The quake took place near Culverden at a depth of 15km at 12.02am, killing two people and causing millions of dollars of damage to private property and public infrastructure.

All roads to Kaikoura were cut off, with massive landslides occurring on the state highway to the north and south, and the inland route also badly affected by slips.

1 NEWS travelled to the quake-hit community to see how the locals are getting on after the life-changing event. Source: 1 NEWS

The town's crucial harbour was essentially made useless, as the sea bed rose by up to two metres in some places, making launching and mooring fishing ships impossible outside of a small time window.

However, the harbour at South Bay is to be re-opened today after significant dredging and restoration work throughout this year.

Repairs to the harbour are almost complete, giving operators hope for a busy summer season. Source: 1 NEWS

The harbour will help to restore the vital seafood and tourism industries which are the lifeblood of the town.

Ms Ardern, currently in Manila for the ASEAN and East Asia Summits, sent her reassurances for the people in Kaikoura.

"While I can't be in Kaikōura in person for the opening of the Harbour and the community picnic, my thoughts are with local people as they mark this important milestone in the recovery journey," she said.

"The community has shown huge strength in extreme circumstances ... the earthquakes hit their livelihoods, their access to friends and relatives around the country and their community spaces.

It's hoped the reconnection will take pressure off the overloaded inland route. Source: 1 NEWS

"I want local people to know that this Government will be with them for the long haul.

"We will continue to support the recovery – both through our commitment to completing the existing programme and by working closely with communities, organisations and sectors affected to ensure that anything that's not quite there yet can be addressed."

Civil Defence Minister KJris Faafoi and Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission Megan Woods are both in Kaikoura today.

Work and repairs are ongoing on State Highway 1 after numerous landslides and uplift. Source: 1 NEWS

State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura was re-opened a few months after the quake, but the much more badly-damaged highway north of the town is due to re-open next month.

It's been a year like no other, and 2018 will be tough too. Source: Seven Sharp