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Southland community steps up

This is an official message from Emergency Management Southland

Southland Emergency Management Controller Bruce Halligan has thanked the Southland community for the huge effort in providing support to each other during the flooding earlier this week.

“People throughout Southland pitched in to provide help and support to other people impacted by the floods,” he said.

“When we declared a State of Emergency and began co-ordinating the Civil Defence response, people were already self-organising and getting stuck in all over Southland providing offers of accommodation, transport, food, clothes and bedding, and other help.”

This included people helping to set up community emergency hubs in schools, churches, art and activity centres and halls throughout the flood affected areas. By the end of the week the Mataura Community Centre was still running a community hub and providing support and advice, while the many other hubs had completed their work (see below).

“Sometimes people only needed help for a few hours, but having somewhere warm and safe they could go, have a cup of tea and something to eat, and talk to people about what was happening was invaluable. Having somewhere to stay overnight was also a huge relief for many people, particularly those evacuated from local towns during the height of the flooding.”

“Of special mention are the Southland marae who opened their doors to many people in need, as well as to out-of-town staff working at the Emergency Coordination Centre, at a time when accommodation in Invercargill was effectively 100% full.”

In addition to the marae and Mataura Community Centre, over the past week community emergency hubs were set up and operated at:
• Te Anau
• Lumsden
• Athol
• Wallacetown
• Winton
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• Gore
o Calvin Community Church
o Croyden Lodge
o East Arts Centre
o Gore High School
o Waimumu Hall
o Waimumu Field Days
• Mataura Fire
• Edendale Presbyterian
• Edendale Christian Activity Centre
• Mokareta Hall
• Mimihau Hall
• Fortrose
• Tokonui
• Curioscape
• Kura Kaupapa
• Ultimate Hikes


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