Earthquake: Supermarkets in Queenstown and across the south could suffer supply shortage post-quake video

SH70 between Rotherham and Waiau, North Canterbury.
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

SH70 between Rotherham and Waiau, North Canterbury.

Food and supply shortages are possible for Queenstown and across the South Island following Monday's magnitude 7.5 earthquake.

Road closures on parts of State Highway 1 and a limited Cook Strait ferry service meant supplies north of Christchurch would be delayed.

Pak 'n Save Queenstown owner Michelle King said the newly opened store would "certainly be impacted" by the earthquake.

Pak 'n Save Queenstown owners Michelle and Anthony King.
Rhys Chamberlain

Pak 'n Save Queenstown owners Michelle and Anthony King.

"Any supplies that need to come from the North Island won't get here at this stage."

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Most of the Queenstown store's supplies came from Christchurch and the head office was "keeping tabs" on how that stock was accommodating stores in the south, she said.

Huge slips, caused by the 7.5 earthquake, are seen blocking State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura on Tuesday.

Huge slips, caused by the 7.5 earthquake, are seen blocking State Highway 1 north of Kaikoura on Tuesday.

King did not want to alarm people and force them rush out and stock up.

"The recommendation from us ... is to shop as normal."

New World Wakatipu owner Kiri Anne McKenzie said the shortage "shouldn't be too bad" and at present they had not implemented any limits on what or how much customers could purchase.

Earthquake road damage on State Highway 1.

Earthquake road damage on State Highway 1.

"We've had a little bit of impact ... [but] we haven't got any need to [initiate product limits]."

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Foodstuffs South Island Limited chief executive Steve Anderson said, with the exception of Kaikoura, both the North and South Island had more than adequate stock available so people should not be concerned. 

Some trucks were delayed but stores were managing stock to ensure everyone had access to staple items, he said.

"The business has strong resilience plans in place to ensure supply is maintained following an event such as the earthquake.

"Advice to customers is to shop as normal."

In a statement, Countdown said all stores were trading in the South Island but the Queensgate Mall and Wainuiomata Mall in the Wellington area were closed due to damage.

All SuperValue and FreshChoice stores were open, except Seddon SuperValue. Online shopping in Wellington and Blenheim could have delays, the statement said.

"We are doing everything we can to get stock to affected parts of the country, including from our distribution centre in Christchurch. There may be some delays, but we are able to get deliveries into all affected areas. We will continue to update our customers and teams."

Four Square Kaikoura and Henry's Kaikoura remained closed on Tuesday with all others across the South Island open as normal.

Supermarkets in the Nelson area were limiting some products on Monday as North Island distribution centres in Palmerston North and Auckland struggled to get freight across Cook Strait. Trucking companies also found it tough with many north of Christchurch at a stand-still.

Meanwhile the tourism and hospitality industry would be "largely unaffected" throughout the country, but after the Christchurch earthquakes, other regions not directly impacted saw a significant drop off in visitors, Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said.

Despite the quake, New Zealand remained a safe a place to visit, he said.

"Beyond North Canterbury it's very much business as usual."

A Destination Queenstown spokeswoman said the wider region had not really been impacted by the earthquake and it was business as normal.

In a statement, Strait Shipping said its Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry service would continue to operate on a limited schedule after resuming sailings from Wellington at 8.45pm on Monday.

It's shore-based facilities were limited including no toilets, no running water, no phone lines and the Picton passenger terminal remained closed, the statement said.

 - Stuff


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