Fifteen people will not be able to return home tonight after
their building in the centre of Masterton was red-stickered
as a result of today's earthquake.
Wairarapa area Civil Defence controller Kevin Tunnell said
the three-storey Daniels Building on Queen St had sustained
unspecified damage in the quake.
It was initially deemed unsafe by the Fire Service and then
by Masterton District Council engineers.
Its 15 tenants would not be allowed home for at least tonight
and engineers would carry out further inspections tomorrow.
Most of the tenants had managed to find alternative
accommodation but two who had not would be housed by the
Mr Tunnell said the building's locks had been changed to
prevent the tenants trying to retrieve their belongings.
"The natural instinct is for people to get back into their
residence but unfortunately that's against the law at the
Meanwhile, New Zealand Transport Agency spokesman Ewart
Barnsley said they were fairly confident the state highway
network had come through the quake largely unscathed.
However, engineers were continuing to conduct checks and
motorists were advised to exercise appropriate caution.
"We're pretty confident that our state highway network is
okay and Manawatu Gorge is okay. Traffic's flowing okay," he
A Kiwirail spokeswoman said the Wellington metropolitan
network would be replaced by buses for the remainder of
today, but they were hopeful services would be back to normal
by tomorrow morning.
There had been two small pieces of damage - a pole holding
electrification wires had come down north of Marton and
tracks had been damaged near Masterton.
Kiwirail was also hopeful the freight network, which was
closed down south of Taihape following the quake, would also
be back to normal tomorrow.
- Matthew Theunissen of APNZ