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Northland moves into recovery phase

Hon Nikki Kaye

Minister of Civil Defence

13 July 2014 Media Statement
Northland moves into recovery phase

The Northland region is moving into the recovery stage following a week of severe weather that has resulted in the evacuation of homes and the closure of state highways, Minister of Civil Defence Nikki Kaye says.

Floodwaters are now dropping after heavy rainfall overnight on Friday resulted in further flooding and slips. Access has been restored to all affected communities.

Though no state of emergency has been declared, the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management has been working alongside the Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group to manage the response. Communities have been affected throughout Northland including Whangarei, Kaipara and the Far North. Ministry staff have been deployed to assist the Northland CDEM Group, and regular teleconferences have been held to ensure that local authorities have been receiving central government support as needed.

“I am reassured by the collaboration between the ministry and the Northland CDEM Group in working together to support the local communities,” Ms Kaye says. “They have been working closely together to help families, farmers and businesses affected.

“The response continues to be well managed by Northland. Welfare centres have been set up to meet the needs of families, and the Rural Support Trust has been actively engaged in working with farmers to begin cleaning up affected areas. I am particularly impressed at how well community plans have been activated.”

Ms Kaye is today visiting Northland, and will be accompanied in Moerewa and Hikurangi by local MP Mike Sabin.

“I understand there are communities in the region such as Moerewa and Hikurangi that are likely to be affected for several days. Eleven houses have been evacuated in Moerewa and a civil defence welfare centre had been up and running, which has now been stood down. Farmers and a number of horticulturists in the Hikurangi region and across Northland have sustained significant damage to pastures and farms, and we will look closely at what assistance can be provided.

“I am meeting local government representatives and residents across Northland to determine if there is any need for further central government assistance, including the possibility for the establishment of mayoral relief funds. I intend to talk to my Cabinet colleagues to determine whether any further central government assistance is appropriate.”

Northland will be moving into the recovery stage from tomorrow with a focus on roading and power restoration, provision of welfare, and the reassurance of affected communities through media and community response plans.

Those requiring assistance should contact the Far North District Council on 0800 920 029 or the Whangarei District Council on 0800 932 463.

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