Mother's intuition saves baby during earthquake

Nikki and Gareth McLean and their nine-week-old daughter Lilly.
Nikki and Gareth McLean and their nine-week-old daughter Lilly. Photo: Ross Giblin

A mother's intuition may have saved the life of her nine week-old baby as an earthquake tore their Kaikoura home apart. 

Nikki McLean woke up about midnight on Monday after she had a sinking feeling something wasn't right.

Just as she pulled nine-week-old Lilly from her crib the earthquake jolted a large mirror off the wall, smashing glass all over the bassinet. 

"If I had been asleep I wouldn't have got to her in time," McLean said on Friday.

The family initially bounced back from the quake well.

By Thursday their home had water and power and in the evening they were running a hot fire and had cleaned up the mess. 

But at 3pm on Thursday Red Cross workers banged on their door and ordered them out of their home along with other residents on Torquay St. 

There were fears the ridge face behind them would slip.

Workers had marked crosses where cracks had formed in the face and would be monitoring them to ensure they didn't get any bigger. 


Half a dozen houses were evacuated. 

McLean, her partner, newborn and three year-old son are now holed up in a caravan park but are still in good spirits. 

"It could be worse," Gareth McLean. 

 - Stuff