Supplies for isolated rural people hit by the Kaikoura Earthquake have been pouring into a community relief depot set up after three blokes loaded up a truck and went on a mercy mission.

The efforts of Tyler Fifield and his mates have led to a flood of donated goods and offers of help from others worried about farming people in some of the more remote parts of New Zealand.

It began yesterday when Fifield and a couple of mates loaded up a four wheel drive with chainsaws, nail guns, tarpaulin, rope and anything else they thought people would need.

When Fifield and mates Josh Tomlinson-Nott and Michael Kerr went out in search of those people, they discovered the need was far greater than they ever expected.


"We drove up every road we came across," he said, encountering people who were almost completely isolated. "There's just buggered houses everywhere.

Fifield, 22, of Blenheim is candid in admitting that the three had no idea how much help was needed.

"We were woefully unprepared. Blenheim escaped unscathed. Fifteen minutes down the road and there's houses lying on the ground."

Fifield runs the NZ Farming page on Facebook and his account of the efforts brought a huge public response. It brought people "turning up all day with gear to donate", he said.

It also brought offers of help from others who wanted to pitch in and distribute supplies, patch up houses or otherwise help.

It harks back to the Student Volunteer Army which grew out of the Christchurch earthquakes - Fifield's call for help has brought offers from hardy volunteers with an eye for rural New Zealand.

The scale of the task emerged over the course of the day. "It's huge country," said Fifield. "The roads are virtually impassable. Anyone trying to get out of there is going to struggle."

The trio were focused yesterday of trying to make houses water-tight. Tarpaulin was used to cover places where roofs were open to the elements, or where chimneys had tumbled.

Today, he set about making sure they had what the rural communities needed. Food was dropped off, water purification tablets and packages personally addressed to people cut off by the quake.

Fifield is lining up to go back. He was given the day of the quake off work as building sites were assessed for quake damage and today when his boss decided others needed him more than work did.

He's now setting out to negotiate the rest of the week off to focus on relief efforts.