Aucklanders are rallying to support Christchurch people in the wake of Tuesday’s earthquake, hosting hundreds of people and sending down several specialists.

Auckland Council civil defence controller Clive Manley said a welfare centre had been set up in Manukau, acting as a co-ordination centre for accommodation, transport and other welfare requirements for evacuees from Christchurch.

More than 120 people had received assistance at the welfare centre or at Whenuapai Airbase, while injured, sick and elderly people had been relocated to Auckland for health and welfare care.

“More than 1700 Aucklanders have also offered to host people displaced by the earthquake in their homes,” Mr Manley said.

“We want to do whatever we can to assist people coming from Christchurch, and to be great hosts.”

Auckland Council has sent 102 specialists to Christchurch, among them 30 building inspectors, 39 engineers, 22 emergency response staff and 11 civil defence staff.

Also headed south were seven Watercare staff, along with contractors and equipment, including a mobile water chlorination plant.

Mr Manley said the Civil Defence Emergency Co-ordination Centre in Auckland had been staffed 24 hours a day since the quake.

Several medical and rescue staff had also headed south, while Auckland was providing logistics support to manage international aid arriving via Auckland International Airport.

Mayor Len Brown said Auckland would continue to provide whatever support was required for the recovery effort