A Tauranga family were today keeping bedside vigils for Olivia Cruickshank and her 6-year-old daughter Abbie as they fight for life in hospital.
Both were transferred from Christchurch to Auckland for life-saving treatment and this morning were in intensive care units - Abbie in Starship Hospital and her mother in neighbouring Auckland Hospital.
The pair were critically injured when a verandah collapsed in Tuesday's earthquake.
Fighting back tears, Olivia's older brother, Rowan, told the Bay of Plenty Times his niece was "making progress every minute of the day".
"The strength she's shown, it's just amazing," he said.
His younger sister, who used to live in Tauranga and turned 33 on Valentine's Day, was stable.
The family did not wish to release details of their injuries.
He said his sister's partner Tristan 'Tex' Walls had not been with Ms Cruickshank and the couple's young daughter when the quake struck.
"He's fine, he's up here with them," Mr Cruickshank said.
Mr Cruickshank's older brother, Vaughan, and parents Delwyn and Jim, who live in Matua, are in Auckland.
"We just sort of need to get through these next couple of days," he said.
Mr Cruickshank said the family wished to thank "those who found and rescued our precious girls, all the hospital staff in Christchurch and Auckland who have been amazing and of course all the family and friends who have given so much love and affection, so much support.
"Our hearts go out to those who are still in Christchurch," he said.
Mr Cruickshank said his sister had moved to Christchurch about three years ago but had been back and forth over the years.
Olivia's mother Delwyn has managed the school canteen at Otumoetai Intermediate School for at least 15 years.
Principal Henk Popping said her colleagues were shocked and were keeping in regular contact with the family.
"She's a valued member of staff and we were shocked to hear of what happened to the family and we want to support them in any possible way we can," she said.