More than 4000 aftershocks have struck New Zealand since Kaikoura quake

More than 4000 aftershocks have struck New Zealand since the huge 7.8m earthquake that rocked Kaikoura on Monday last week, according to Geonet.

The total included 16 that had shaken the country in one hour this Monday morning between 5am and 6am.

Some 4060 aftershocks have now struck, with the number still climbing.

On Sunday night, a "strong" 5.0m quake rocked Kaikoura, which was felt in multiple areas of the country.


It hit just 25km south-west of the quake-damaged town at 7.52pm and was 26km deep.

Children's play area

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.

Kaikoura was severely affected by the 7.8 quake. Source: AP Images

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.

The coastline near Kaikoura. Photo: AP

"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."

Wellington demolition

Demolition is set to begin on 61 Molesworth St, a nine-storey building in central Wellington, a week after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The building on Molesworth Street that's set to be dismantled. Photo: SNPA

Part of the building was substantially damaged in the quake and there are concerns it may collapse.

A demolition contractor has been hired to deconstruct the building, using an 85-tonne excavator, with work starting as early as Monday and expected to last two weeks.

Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery says the first to go will be the Molesworth Street facade of the building.

"By doing this, we can hopefully reduce the cordon around Molesworth Street to vehicles and pedestrians within around a week of demolition work starting," he said.

A family had been living in the building. Photo: SNPA

"This will allow more buildings, for example the Embassy of Thailand and NZ Rugby headquarters, to be reopened."

A family had been living in the building and businesses in it include Bali Day Spa, Nudel Wellington, The Mews and City Clothing.

Work to temporarily strengthen the multi-storey Reading Cinema car park in Tory Street is expected to start during the next few days.

Key salutes Aussie 'mateship'

New Zealand's prime minister has saluted Australia's mateship after last week's deadly earthquake.

Two people died after a massive 7.5 magnitude quake struck the South Island, sparking a tsunami warning and rattling the country with more than 250 aftershocks.

Prime Minister John Key expressed immense gratitude for Australia's disaster assistance.

John Key expressed gratitude to Australia for their help. Photo: Getty Images

Australia sent HMAS Darwin and another warship and helicopters to help with the earthquake recovery.

"It's a living example of how great mates New Zealand and Australia are," Mr Key told reporters in Lima on Saturday night (Peru time).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was the first leader on the phone offering a helping hand to Mr Key after the disaster.

"We're supporting each other as we always do," Mr Turnbull said.

The pair caught up ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit gala dinner.