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

 


Welfare strong focus in ongoing post-storm recovery 13/7/14

Media release

Date: 13 July, 2014

Release #: 1; issued at 1200 hours

Welfare strong focus in ongoing post-storm recovery

Northlanders – especially those in flood-struck areas like Moerewa – continue to show remarkable resilience as the region works to return to normality in the wake of this week’s storm, Civil Defence officials say.

Graeme MacDonald, spokesman for the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group, says as the recovery phase of the storm moves into its second day, welfare and infrastructural matters remain the key focus.

Mr MacDonald says in and around Moerewa, where floodwaters had forced a number of families from their homes, stoic locals – while understandably frustrated by the effects of the storm – were taking matters in their stride and looking after each other, aided by official support.

The latter included a welfare centre which had been working out of the Te Punawai Trust Christian Centre (the old tavern on the corner of the Main Rd and Marshall St) opposite the BP Station. It had closed this morning, but if required would reopen.

Far North District Council (FNDC) building inspectors were also door-knocking in the area monitoring sanitation and other issues caused by flood-related problems with septic tanks. The council was arranging for portable toilets and extra rubbish bins to be delivered to the area today.

Firefighters were also hoping to assist today with localised pumping – and depending on the availability of freshwater – washing out some flood-affected homes.

Mr MacDonald 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, he says infrastructurally, the FNDC also had some concerns about the public water supply in the Paihia, Haruru Falls and Opua areas and today issued an

urgent call to all residents and visitor accommodation premises there to conserve water until further notice.

The council says heavy siltation at its Waitangi River water supply intake has seriously restricted the treatment plant’s capacity to process water and the reservoirs servicing the area are running low.

Contractors are working to restore the treatment plant to full capacity but the council warns unless the communities in the area do everything possible to conserve water the supply could fail by mid-afternoon today.

The council says water tankers have been placed on standby to bring treated water in from other areas as a contingency measure, but obviously will not be able to meet the normal level of demand.

On the electricity front, Mr MacDonald says both Top Energy and Northpower had done remarkably well at restoring electricity to the thousands of customers the storm had affected. Overnight, Top Energy reported it still had about 570 customers without power and it still had some issues at areas including Rangiputa, north and south Hokianga, small areas around Opua and Peria and at Te Kao.

However, despite site access problems caused by steep and muddy terrain, the company was hoping to have most customers restored today.

Northpower too today reported good progress, with all of its major feeders restored. It was planning to use a chopper to lift a wire to a top of the Brynderwyn Hills, south of Whangarei today, which should enable the restoration of mains power to celltowers which had been operating on generators.

Mr MacDonald says the situation on the region’s roads continues to change constantly and number of spots along the State Highway network – including a major slip south of Kawakawa – continued to be closed or affected by flooding, slips or other storm-related damage and roading.

It was a similar story along the local roading network, however, officials were working hard to assess damage and find alternate routes whenever possible.

Mr MacDonald says while some rain is forecast tomorrow night, it is not expected to cause any new problems and the forecast for the next week was for fine weather.

However, in parts of the region, high tides are still affecting flood-swollen rivers and could also cause fresh roading issues in some spots.

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, as mentioned earlier, 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 all closures/issues.”

He says the Rural Support Trust is working with flood-effected farmers, including those in the Whangarei District’s Hikurangi Swamp area, where reportedly 30 farms have been affected by flooding, some which have up to 80 percent of their property inundated.

And on the health front, officials had worked today to arrange the transport – by air if necessary – of two renal patients from the Far North who required treatment.

Mr MacDonald says recovery and other storm-related information will also continue to be posted as required, including on the Northland CDEM Group’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/civildefencenorthland and the Northland Regional Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz/civildefence

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news