A 27 truck military convoy battled poor weather and the threat of more landslides to deliver 8860 litres of fuel and 10,000 litres of water to Kaikoura today.

Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said the fuel would be used to stock up Kaikoura petrol stations and refill emergency services vehicles.

Nine Army chefs were also brought in to cater to 250 patients at Kaikoura Hospital.

Five of the Defence Force trucks would head to the small town of Culverden tomorrow to get further supplies.


The other 22 trucks would stay in Kaikoura to distribute drinking water and other aid supplies brought in by amphibious sealift vessel HMNZS Canterbury.

Another 16 Defence Force vehicles would leave Burnham Military Camp tomorrow morning to pick up food and other aid supplies for the quake-damaged town, Gall said.

Airforce choppers and HMNZS Canterbury evacuated more people from Kaikoura today, after 160 residents requested assistance.

The latest evacuations brought the total number of people rescued by the Defence Force to 860.

Evacuees boarded HMNZS Canterbury from Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats, the ship's commander Simon Rooke said. '

They would stay on the ship tonight while crew offloaded 216 tonnes of aid brought in from Lyttelton.

It contained 113,000kg of food, 2,780kg of fruits and vegetables, 200kg of potatoes, 350kg of bread, 6000kg of rice, pasta and flour, 300kg of blankets, 500kg of telecommunications equipment, four tonnes of medical supplies, 10,000kg of pet food, 80 portable toilets, 500kg of toilet paper, 30 10-litre cans of fuel, two portable pumps and four generators.

The Defence Force said about 560 military personnel, at least 11 aircraft and four ships had helped with the earthquake response to date.