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Child space set up in Kaikoura

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/11/2016

Tourists and locals disembark a bus at the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch after being evacuated by the HMNZS Canterbury Naval ship from Kaikoura on November 16. © Marty Melville/Getty Images Tourists and locals disembark a bus at the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch after being evacuated by the HMNZS Canterbury Naval ship from Kaikoura on November 16. A special play area has been set up for children in Kaikoura in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 quake a week ago.

Some schools in Kaikoura remain closed, leaving children without routine and structure.

Save the Children staff and volunteers are setting up a space at Kaikoura Primary School in Torquay Street, where school-aged children can come during the day to play and forget about the stresses and strains associated with the earthquake.

The space will open from Monday between 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm and it's expected to be open until all schools resume.

"Disasters can cause children significant stress because they aren't able to understand or rationalise why disasters happen the same way adults can," says spokeswoman Melanie Patterson.

"It's really important to help children feel safe. That's why we want to see child friendly spaces as just a normal part of this country's emergency response."

Also in Wellington a large inner city girls school will remain closed for junior pupils on Monday.

The stairs in Tower Block at Wellington Girls' College can't be used which means pupils can't be evacuated efficiently if necessary. The school sent junior pupils home on Friday.

The school will be closed for junior classes on Monday.

NCEA exams will continue in Brook Block as per normal, and the library will be open for study.

It is quite likely that classes will run on Tuesday.

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