Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Clean up, welfare issues new focus for North in storm’s wake

Clean up, welfare issues new focus for North in storm’s wake

Meeting immediate welfare needs and restoration of key infrastructure like power, roading, sewage treatment and water are the new focus for officials in Northland in the wake of one of the most long-running and damaging storms to hit in years.

Graeme MacDonald, spokesman for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says the storm finally gave up its grip on the region about daybreak today, when officials were finally able to begin assessing its impacts in earnest.

A predicted sting in the storm’s tail, which had delivered up to 128mm more rain to parts of Northland between 3pm yesterday and 6am today, had caused widespread flooding and road closures around the region, as well as knocking out power to hundreds more people.

Mr MacDonald says with the storm itself finally over, officials were now turning their attention to what is likely to be a lengthy ‘recovery’ phase.

That included establishing an accurate picture of the spots where resources are most urgently needed, including working to meet pressing welfare needs for those cut off by flooding and/or who had been without power for several days.

Many of the worst affected were in the Far North District, with the Whangarei and Kaipara Districts faring much better overall.

“The atrocious weather, scale of the flooding and wind damage and the associated road closures, telecommunications difficulties, power cuts and problems getting choppers up over the past few days mean today is the first real chance for authorities to get a first-hand look at the bigger picture.”

Mr MacDonald says the Far North District Council has set up a welfare centre in Moerewa, where floods have forced nearly a dozen households to evacuate in the town and at nearby Otiria. The welfare centre is at Te Punawai Trust Christian Centre (the old tavern on the corner of the Main Rd and Marshall St) opposite the BP Station. It can be contacted on (09) 404 1274 and (021) 268 1231.

“Agencies are also visiting flooded communities in the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa and Hokianga areas and offering help to households that are still without power.”

Mr MacDonald says as of 1pm today about 1600 Far North homes were still without power and about 20 Top Energy crews were out tackling more than 40 main sites with issues.

He says anyone in the Far North whose home is flooded or who urgently needs accommodation, food, heating, clothing or medical supplies should phone Far North District Council’s freephone 0800 920 029. (The Whangarei District Council has a similar service for those needing help in its district; 0800 932 463.)

Meanwhile, Mr MacDonald says also on the welfare front, the Ministry of Social Development had opened its offices in Kaitaia, Kerikeri and Kaikohe this morning but had only collectively fielded four visitors.

While the storm itself had now ended, he says its impacts will continue to be felt for some time, especially on the roading front, where dozens of local roads and a number of routes on the State Highway network are closed or are down to a single lane due to flooding, slips and other storm-related damage.

He says information about local district council road and State Highway closures/issues in Northland is available from the Automobile Association website via www.AAroadwatch.co.nz or the NZTA website www.nzta.govt.nz

Those sites contain maps and brief description of closed/affected roads and an indication of when the issue/s involved is likely to be resolved.

“However, it’s important to realise that things are constantly changing on the roading front and despite everyone’s best intentions it’s difficult to have accurate, up-to-the-minute details on closures etc.”

“Even when roads are technically ‘passable’, sometimes that only applies to trucks and 4WDs, so the best advice, probably for the rest of this weekend at least, is still for people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.”

Mr MacDonald says while it’s too early to put an accurate cost on the storm, agencies involved agree it’s one of the worst to strike the region in a number of years in terms of its impacts and the recovery would take a considerable time at an eventual cost likely to run well into the millions.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news