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Minister Faafoi Sees Damage; State Of Local Emergency Lifted

Acting Minister of Emergency Management the Hon Kris Faafoi was in Marlborough this morning to assess the damage to the region caused by the recent storm.

Minister Faafoi joined a briefing at the Emergency Operations Centre and thanked the response team, led by Incident Controller Richard McNamara, for its work over the last ten days. Minister Faafoi said he was aware that Marlborough’s multi-agency emergency management response team was a “well-oiled machine” and had been successful in responding to and managing the storm’s immediate impacts.

Minister Faafoi also witnessed first-hand the serious damage to Queen Charlotte Drive at Cullen Point near Havelock, and saw a large slip further up the road at Moenui.

Shift to recovery

A declaration terminating the state of local emergency was signed at midday today by Mayor John Leggett. Under section 94B of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act, Marlborough is now in a local transition period of recovery for 28 days, until 25 August 2021.

Dean Heiford is Marlborough’s Recovery Manager. Dean has worked in this role before, for both the 2013 and 2016 earthquake recoveries.

He said: “In any emergency our first response is always to the people and areas that are the most affected, and then to start recovery work across the region, concentrating on getting roads opened and services back to people as soon as we can.”

“There are several areas – the upper Waihopai and Awatere valleys, Northbank, Queen Charlotte Drive and the Kenepuru Road that have very limited or no road access. Those key infrastructure links are being urgently assessed and they will be repaired as soon as practically possible.”

“People need to appreciate that the ongoing recovery effort is focussed on getting our infrastructure back up and running as soon as possible. However the damage that our roading network has suffered is immense and it will take some time to repair.”

“In future we will give residents an estimate of road repair times but right now it is too early to say, until we have completed the detailed assessments that are required.”

He said there are currently 125 contractors working on road repairs around the region.

“During an emergency, our team can help people with accessing food, medicines or accommodation, when they have no other options. Most people find alternative ways to get the things they need, such as staying with friends or family, and organising their own food and other supplies. However, we are here if people need us.”

Mr Heiford said food and medical supplies had already been provided by air and overland to isolated communities and this will remain an option for the foreseeable future, until road links are restored.

If you need assistance, please contact the Council on (03) 520 7400 or email recovery@marlborough.govt.nz

In an emergency, dial 111.

Property damage

So far, four properties have been ‘red stickered’ with serious damage, seven have moderate damage and six have light damage. Numbers may increase as Council’s Building Control team inspects more houses, particularly in the Sounds, and as bach and homeowners visit their properties and report damage.

Seven people are currently housed in emergency accommodation.

Residential Advisory Service (RAS)

If you’re having difficulty understanding your insurance policy or the insurance process, the Residential Advisory Service (RAS) provides a free and independent service to help.

RAS engages independent advisors with experience and understanding of insurance matters following a natural disaster. RAS began supporting home owners impacted by the Canterbury earthquakes and has been involved in responding to other emergencies since. RAS can help you better understand what is going on with your own repair or rebuild and focusses on progressing the issues between homeowners and insurance companies. For more information, contact RAS on 0800 777 299.

Queen Charlotte Drive

Access hours from Picton to Moenui for residents and those with a Convoy Pass are:

  • Closed at 9.00 am to 11.30 am
  • Open from 12.00 pm to 1.00 pm
  • Closed 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm
  • Open overnight from 5.00 pm to 9.00 am

Manned checkpoints remain in place.

Those needing to access Queen Charlotte Drive who are not residents are required to have a Convoy Pass. Please email MarlboroughLifelines@marlborough.govt.nz to organise a pass. Please include your name, business name, contact phone number, email address, vehicle registration and the date you need the pass for when submitting the email.

For the most up-to-date information about road closures and the state of your local road, please visit the Council’s Marlborough Emergency Management Official Public Information Map which is regularly updated at https://bit.ly/CDEM-Map

Roading alerts are posted at www.marlborough.govt.nz/services/alerts and are updated daily at 4.30 pm.

Primary industries

People in the primary industries sector who need further information or assistance repairing damage and cleaning-up can visit: www.marlborough.govt.nz/civil-defence-emergency-management/flooding-july-2021/july-2021-storm-event-recovery-information/2021-west-coast-marlborough-and-tasman-floods-information-from-mpi

The boil water notice for the Wairau Valley township supply has been lifted.

The Council’s website now has a dedicated Recovery page. Go to https://www.marlborough.govt.nz/civil-defence-emergency-management/flooding-july-2021/july-2021-storm-event-recovery-information

Please follow the Council’s Facebook page, Antenno app and Twitter.

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