Seventy Kiwibank workers shut out of their earthquake affected building in Wellington have relocated to Hastings.
Staff had been moved temporarily to the Hastings office which was opened last year in case of situations like this where a disaster closed other offices around the country.
Kiwibank had arranged transport and booked rooms in several motels for relocated staff. It was not yet known how long they'd be working in Hastings, a Kiwibank spokesman said.
It has been the perfect escape for Sky Tuulima, 22, Kelsey Charles, 25, and Zemira Hayvice, 24.
Ms Tuulima said she jumped at the chance so packed her bags by 9am Monday and was in the van moments later.
"So far it has been a great decision, the weather has been amazing and we haven't had a lot of wind, which is unusual for us."
In between working Ms Tuulima had been shown some of the region's top sites by her Hastings-based colleagues including Te Mata Peak, the wineries and beaches.
"I am going to take Zemira and Kelsey up the peak this week, the views were incredible."
Ms Hayvice and Ms Charles joined Ms Tuulima yesterday and were keen to explore Maraetotara Falls, Ocean Spa and the main streets of Napier.
"I have only been here twice and it was a while ago so I want to get back out and see it all when we are not working. It is a great change of scenery," Ms Hayvice said.
The Kiwibank staff in Hastings have rallied together and are putting on weekly team barbecues.
Ms Charles said this support had made them feel welcome and at home.
"Even though we are away from our family and friends and there's been the flooding and aftershocks everyone here is looking after us so well."
"It is a relief to know we have so much support," Ms Hayvice said.
The women also said the move allowed them to mix and mingle with a range of new people.
"When I jumped in my van I knew no one but by the end of the trip we were like a family." Ms Tuulima said.
The women were now working and sharing an office with people they had previously only talked to over the phone.
"It was pretty cool being able to be like 'hey you're the one I always talk to' and getting to know them," Ms Charles said.
"I think we have actually become more understanding in our work as we share stories and experiences with one another and we can use this opportunity to reflect," Ms Hayvice said.
The Kiwibank spokesman said the Hastings office had proven to be "a worthy investment".
"We wanted an environment where we could continue our banking services out of Wellington. We have efficient and good operations in Hastings and it has all worked very well so far, so we are very pleased."
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said the move may have been a bit distressing so he wanted to welcome Wellington staff to the community.
"We want to make sure that when they're not working they can make the most of our beautiful district to relax and recover from the stresses of the earthquakes."
The council has provided visitor packs, which include details of the region's cycling trails, maps, invitations to events such as Carols in Cornwall Park and the central city night markets, and details of where they can get information if they need it.
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