Three Hawke's Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management staff are in Wellington assiting with the response efforts after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Kaikoura.

The quake has cut off Kaikoura and severely affected a number of nearby outlying towns and settlements, as well as damaging buildings in Wellington.

The three staff members are working out of the National Crisis Management Centre under the Beehive, assisting with the national response to the quake. Another staff member will join them on Saturday.

Hawke's Bay CDEM Group Controller Ian Macdonald said the experienced staff will help coordinate the national response to the emergency.


"More Hawke's Bay staff are likely to join the response efforts next week, with some heading into the affected areas," Mr Macdonald said.

"As the incident management teams on the ground need a break we will send more resources down to assist."

Mr Macdonald said it's important help, however it's also important to retain enough staff here to deal with the impacts of any significant aftershocks on Hawke's Bay.