For Napier man John Harrison hosting four generations of the family is normally a happy occasion.
Yet while he is delighted they are all together the circumstances which led to the unplanned family reunion were far from normal as the Christchurch-based members of the family had their lives left literally in pieces in the wake of the February 22 earthquake.
"The important thing is they are all safe and they are here," he said.
The moment he heard there had been a major earthquake he began trying to contact family members, and after hearing of the severity began making plans to take in whoever needed taking in.
Since they arrived they have been overwhelmed by the help they have received, and relieved to experience fresh running water and a still earth.
"The nerves are pretty shot," his sister Kay said.
She and her husband George, who live in Scarborough, both received minor injuries during the earthquake, and had sought medical assistance after arriving in Napier.
"I was sitting at the kitchen table when it happened," George said. "I tried to get under a doorway. It sounded like thunder - everything was crashing down."
He fell and had injured his foot. In Napier he was taken to Dr Peter Foley at Central Medical, and after being X-rayed and treated was told there was no charge.
The same thing happened when he sought specialist dental work from technician Mark Clifford for a lost tooth. No charge.
Mr Harrison's 87-year-old father Colin, who has a home at Spreydon, received the same response when he was taken to renew a long-standing prescription a couple of days after arriving here.
"The compassion has been wonderful - it is so humbling," George said.
Colin thinks timing may have saved his own life. For the past 20 or so years, three times a week, he has been a volunteer guide on city tours, but Tuesday was not one of his allotted days.
"I would have been somewhere out in the central city - I might be lucky to be here."
George's wife Kay had been at work and was injured after the ceiling collapsed. When she finally managed to get home, four hours later, George said he simply burst into tears.
They were joined by daughter Sascha and their 14-month-old grandson Isaiah . While the little boy slept through the main shake, he was upset by the aftershocks - and lucky to escape being struck by drawers which had tumbled around him. Their Sumner home had been left with cracked beams and littered with broken glass. She and Isaiah were looking forward to seeing his dad, Gareth, who had stayed in Christchurch using his electrical skills. He arrived yesterday.
While their three family homes were not seriously damaged, there was cracking and they had lost possessions, and had been struggling with no power, no water and no sewage systems. They arrived just over a week ago - Mr Harrison praising the efforts of Air New Zealand in assisting people to get away from the destruction.
With the future still up in the air the family are not sure exactly how long they will stay in the tranquillity of the Bay, although they are figuring on about another 10 days or so.
Hot on the heels of the Bay's offers of accommodation, the province can now offer 800 return flights to displaced Cantabrians.
Councils of both Napier and Hastings have each put up $50,000 to support the initiative.
A spokesperson for Hastings District Council said Mayor Lawrence Yule had worked closely with Air New Zealand (who had been "incredible") yet both councils wanted to ensure Christchurch people were aware of the offer.
To apply see for more information.