A Papamoa solo dad has offered the use of his home over Christmas and New Year to a South Island earthquake-affected family for free.

Justin Cheyne said he originally intended to rent out his four-bedroom Papamoa home from December 26 to January 5, but decided to offer it to a quake-affected family because he knew they could definitely do with a decent break.

Mr Cheyne, who posted his offer on his Facebook page, said he had been inundated with thousands of requests and suggestions about who he should rent to.

Plus he had received thousands of Facebook messages of support, he said.


"It's been a little bit overwhelming to be honest. I just can't believe the response and it's especially daunting when people keep saying what a good bugger I am," he said.

The solo father of three girls said some of the responses people had posted were "heart-breaking" and clearly many people down south were going through tough times.

"It's going to be hard to choose just one family. I think I have chosen the family but I am yet to talk to them, but if they can't come then there's plenty of others to choose from."

Mr Cheyne said members of the Papamoa business community were some of the first to offer to make sure the chosen family also got a "few treats and goodies" to make their holiday break an even more memorable one.

At least a dozen businesses had contacted him with offers which ranged from restaurants and cafes offering to pay for meals, a beauty package, movie tickets, and an offer to clean his house "top to bottom" once his visitors had left.

Mr Cheyne said after his older daughter approached Air New Zealand, the airline had also offered four return flights from either Blenheim or Christchurch to Tauranga.

"It's been bloody amazing and really nice. It's definitely given me warm fuzzies," he said.

Mr Cheyne said he was keen to leverage off the massive response to get other businesses to come on board, and that included someone willing to offer the use of a car.

I was going to rent my house out over Xmas, but I thought I might give it to a South Island family who could do with a...

Posted by Justin Cheyne on Friday, 18 November 2016

The reluctant hero said he normally relied on the rental money to pay rates and bills, but decided he wanted to help out a quake family.

Mr Cheyne said last week was the first anniversary of the death of his father, Tony, following a massive stroke, and it got him thinking about all the good things his father had done for people.

"I definitely believe if you do good stuff for other people then hopefully good things come back to you. My dad would be really happy I'm doing this," he said.

Anyone wanting to help out should message Mr Cheyne on his Facebook page.

The Kaikoura 7.8 quake last Monday:
At least one person was killed.
Countless homes destroyed and buildings damaged.
Multiple landslides blocked streams and river valleys.
Many visitors were flown out of Kaikoura by helicopter.
More than 4000 aftershocks recorded in the eastern tip of South Island and Wellington region in the past seven days.