Kaikoura locals doing 'phenomenal' job looking after tourists, but help badly needed

Despite seeing their homes in ruins, Kaikoura locals have been opening their doors to stranded tourists as they wait to be transported out of town.

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

Around 700 visitors spent a third night trapped in the the coastal town, waiting for an airlift or boat transport out of the region.

HMNZS Wellington has been spotted off the coast, and the Canterbury is also steaming south, bringing badly needed supplies.

Takahanga Marae has cooked more than 6500 meals, while local residents have been out in force, including providing hot meals and crayfish to those staying at a makeshift campground.

Some have also invited tourists into their homes.

1 NEWS reporter Lisa Davies, who has been in the town since Tuesday, said local residents have been doing a stunning job in looking after tourists, but were badly in need of help.

"Although the marae here has been the hub of keeping people fed and watered, they can only do so much," she told Breakfast.

"Over the past three days they have fed 6500 people, it really is phenomenal."

The marae had 10 cooks and 30 servers, and had provided mattresses and bedding for many.

Around 200 people were evacuated from the town yesterday, and more will leave today.

Currently 50 per cent of Kaikoura had access to the town's water supply, with that figure expected to rise to 75 per cent by mid-morning.

Jeff Reardon says he wants to send people away with a full belly and some good memories. Source: 1 NEWS

Sewerage was an ongoing issue, with the Ministry of Health working with emergency services to avoid infection. 

Carol Reardon, whose family won't make it to town for her 60th birthday, is determined to help those in need. Source: 1 NEWS

The quake hit town is alive with community spirit as stranded tourists are cared for. Source: 1 NEWS