Waiau has marked some milestones in its recovery from the November 2016 earthquake.

Last month's official reopening of the restored 141-year-old Highfield Woolshed, which was damaged in the 2016 quake, was also an opportunity to mark the earthquake's second anniversary and to celebrate the work of the Waiau Recovery Hub, as the recovery phase winds down.

The event was organised by the Waiau Recovery Hub, with more than 400 people attending, outgoing hub co-ordinator Viv Gray said.

''It was noted at the event the change of atmosphere in the community from a year ago, which is really encouraging and this is the first of our really important buildings restored.


''We would like to say there has been a turning point this year.''

The Highfield Woolshed is one of the oldest and largest shearing sheds still operating and has a category-one rating with Heritage New Zealand.

It has been home to the Northcote family for generations and hosted the Amuri A&P Show from its inception in 1908 until 1949.

The recovery hub was formed following the earthquake to support the community, with a co-ordinator funded by a Lotteries grant and backed up by a committee of eight members from the neighbouring Waiau, Rotherham and Mt Lyford communities.

''Much has been achieved over this time from door-to-door contact with every household in the townships, support to individuals, and running events,'' Mrs Gray said.

''It has been successful in bringing the community together in a number of ways.''

The recovery phase has officially wound down and the funding has run out for the hub co-ordinator role, but Mrs Gray said the recovery would continue for several years to come.

''This is our 'new normal'. There's still a long way to go, but our sports facilities are back up and running.

''There's still the cob cottage, the hotel and other things which haven't been repaired, along with people's homes, but there's a lot of positives in that some new rebuilds are happening.

''The swimming pool will be opening in February, so people really have things to look forward to.''

A Waiau community connector has been appointed who will continue to work in the community.

Mrs Gray said the woolshed opening event's sponsors were ANZCO, the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust and the House of Ball Winery in Waipara.

-By David Hill

Central Rural Life