Lying on the ground next to Kaikoura Highschool's gymnasium wall was a pile of fractured concret bricks.

Insulation was torn from the wall's framing.

This was scene two Ministry of Education staff encountered after they were choppered to Kaikoura on Wednesday to survey the damage the quake left at the area's schools.

Engineers inspected five out of six Kaikoura schools and found them "generally in good shape".


Acting Secretary of Education Katrina Casey said the ministry was largely pleased with the findings.

"They should be safe to use again once power, sewage and water supply issues are addressed.

"A generator is being sourced for Kaikoura Suburban School while we co-ordinate with the local marae and other agencies to provide other support to the school community. Some schools also have Port A Loos."

Around 470 pupils are enrolled in Kaikoura schools.

Staff assessed Kaikoura Primary School, St Joseph's School, Kaikoura High School, Kaikoura Suburban School and Hapuku School.

Engineers were yet to inspect Lynton School.

Management at each school would decide when to reopen and the Ministry would provide support as needed, Casey said.

Canterbury director of education Coralanne Child visited schools in the neighbouring Hurunui District to assess what was needed there.

Waiau School was the only school in the district that remained closed. Its pool was reduced to rubble by the quake.