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Government Flood Helpline established

Government Flood Helpline established

A Government flood helpline is up and running this afternoon with a 0800 phone number to provide information on government services for people affected by the lower North Island floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The Ministry of Social Development’s Work and Income Service is coordinating the helpline which will provide people affected by the flooding with a single point of contact for information on government services.

People requiring information on income support, housing options, health issues, community assistance, taskforce green clean-up, insurance, civil defence, document retrieval or any other government service should call the Government Flood Helpline on 0800 779 997.

Steve Maharey said the 0800 information line will operate daily between 7am and 10pm.

“Calls to the Government Flood Helpline will be answered by staff from Work and Income, Housing New Zealand Corporation, the Ministry of Housing, and Inland Revenue. People will be provided with information and contact information for the services they require.

“The phone service complements the first one-stop shop for people affected by floods which has now been established at the Waitotara Hotel. Other one-stop shops will be set up over the next few days in flood-affected areas.

“Government agencies will continue to work closely together and will monitor closely the issues raised by flood-affected people. Our initial focus is on ensuring peoples’ immediate needs are being met.

“A good deal of infrastructure in flood-affected areas has been wiped out and there has been a massive impact on the lives of tens of thousands of New Zealanders. As we are able to fully assess the impact of the disaster government services will further evolve to meet the needs identified,” Steve Maharey said.

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