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Whakatāne District cyclone recovery progress

Update No: 25 16.00 hrs Date: 14 April 2017

Whakatāne District cyclone recovery progress

Whakatāne District Council Civil Defence teams are continuing to make progress in getting people back into their homes. Power outages in some areas will continue to impact on water and wastewater services throughout the district until Horizons is able to restore electricity networks.

All coastal evacuation areas from Matatā to Ōhope were re-opened this morning and residents from 216 properties in the south-western area of Edgecumbe were able to go home this afternoon, most to stay. Updates on the re-opening of the remaining cordoned areas (Zone 4) will be provided this evening.


Power outages are still placing pressure on water and wastewater systems throughout the district and all residents, including those in areas with restored power, are asked to conserve water and avoid flushing their toilets as much as possible until advised otherwise.


The District-wide notices to conserve water and minimise use of wastewater facilities are likely to be in place for several more days. Horizons Networks are working hard to repair power lines damaged by wind and tree-fall as quickly as possible but it will take some time, and this is affecting the water and wastewater systems.

Boil water notices remain in place throughout the district. The notice applies to residents of Tāneatua, Te Mahoe, Rūātoki, Rangitaiki Plains (including Te Teko/Mapou, Edgecumbe, Awakeri, Braemar, Onepu, Otakiri and Thornton). Residents should bring water to a rapid boil for at least one minute to make it safe to drink. A tanker of potable drinking water is on its way to Tāneatua for residents to fill their own bottles from. It will be stationed at Jack Knowles Park in Tāneatua by 5.30pm this evening.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Phil Shoemack is reminding people about the importance of maintaining excellent personal hygiene during this difficult time.

“The relevant practical measures include attention to frequent hand washing, safe disposal of waste and following the advice contained in any boil water notice,” Dr Shoemack said.


Edgecumbe residents have been provided with information packs as they return. An information and welfare centre has been established at Edgecumbe Hall for residents to drop in and discuss any further needs or questions they have with relevant civil defence and support services staff. Portaloos are also onsite at the hall.

Edgecumbe residents are also being asked to temporarily cease all use of wastewater. Portaloos have been erected in Zone 3 for residents’ use. A generator is on its way to the area to help the sewerage situation and bottled drinking water is available at Edgecumbe Hall. Drinking water is currently available from a tap at the Fonterra plant and Fonterra are sending two tankers of drinking water to Edgecumbe, as an interim measure while power outages prevent residents from being able to boil their water. The tankers are expected to arrive by 4.30pm today and will be stationed at Kauri St, by the Edgecumbe Hall, Hydro Road. Residents should bring their own containers to fill.


Whakatāne District Council is asking that residents do not remove trees from public areas themselves. They are responding to reports throughout the region and encourage residents to report windfalls that need attention to Whakatāne District Council on 0800 306 0500.


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