Workers village/ temporary accommodation on way to Kaikoura


The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance will be setting up purpose-built, prefabricated accommodation in Kaikoura to house more than 300 men and women who will working on the massive rebuild programme which is aiming to fully re-open State Highway 1 and the rail corridor by the end of the year.

“This is a huge job, and we are focussed on getting it done as soon as possible so life can return to normal in the region. In order to achieve that we need to house more than 300 men and women close to the work sites,” says Steve Mutton, NZ Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery Manager. “The accommodation facility we’re setting up is critical to getting the job done.”

Mr Mutton says NCTIR, the Kaikoura District Council and local accommodation suppliers have been working together for some time to determine if Kaikoura had enough accommodation to cater for 300 – 400 NCTIR staff and sub-contractors.

At these meetings, the local accommodation group conducted a survey and found that there were not enough rooms to house all of the workers needed. It was also important that Kaikoura accommodation would still be available for visitors to the town. As a result, the decision was made to bring in a pre-fabricated facility from Australia.

“We’re currently working with Kaikoura District Council to find the best location for the temporary village and progress the approval for its establishment. It’s a big task and it is essential that we work closely with the KDC Recovery Office,” says Mr Mutton.

“The accommodation will be simple, suitable for the climate through winter and will meet workers’ needs. Each person will have their own room and ensuite toilet/ shower with shared recreational areas.”

Similar facilities are used in infrastructure projects like mining operations in Australia where contractors fly in and fly out. “The facility will be removed from the site at the end of the job,” says Mr Mutton.

Currently, NCTIR is organising the delivery of 75 units, each with four self-contained bedrooms/ ensuites. Separate to this, there will be recreational facilities – a dining hall, laundry, gymnasium. The aim is to have the temporary accommodation facilities up and running by mid-May.

The location is still to be confirmed but it will be one site for both male and female engineers/crews, close to Kaikoura town. The village will generate a large amount of economic activity for Kaikoura people and businesses in terms of food supplies and catering, laundry workers, cleaners and other services, Mr Mutton says.

NCTIR will still require overflow accommodation for those workers who live elsewhere and travel to site, he says. This demand will be supplied by some local accommodation providers and through renting houses for groups of people who are sharing facilities, which is already happening.

As well as the Kaikoura temporary village, there will be around 50 people on leased accommodation on the north/ Clarence side of Kaikoura. NCTIR is in touch with the community and is searching for the right mix of available homes/ motels and or campervan sites for the northern-based crews, Mr Mutton says.

People who would like an update on the work programme on State Highway 1 from NCTIR, can come to the Kaikoura District Community Expo this Saturday. (Details below.)

Kaikoura District Community Expo(external link) – Saturday, 1 April, Memorial Hall, 32 Esplanade
Midday to 5.30 pm. The NCTIR slot is from 2.30 to 3 pm. link)