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Silt Removal - Please Wear A Mask

Anyone dealing with the removal of silt is asked to wear a mask.

Dry silt poses a health risk as it’s likely to contain faecal matter and other contaminants that could become airborne.

“People need to be very careful dealing with silt that has dried. Please wear a mask,” says Tairāwhiti Civil Defence Controller Ben Green.
Disposal sites of where to take the silt will be confirmed tomorrow. Until then the silt will need to stay on your property, says Mr Green.

Multiple properties and homes across the region were inundated with silt from the flooding associated with Cyclone Gabrielle.

The silt contamination of residential properties poses an immediate health risk to occupants, volunteers, and contractors working on response activities at these properties.

“Please also stay away from silt on public playgrounds around the district, we will get to these sites as soon as we can however our priority is silt in people’s homes.

“We estimate there is around 250,000m3 of silt to be removed from residential areas, 200,000m3 from Te Karaka properties and 50,000m3 from riverside properties in Gisborne city.

“Up the Coast there is even more and we are trying to get access first.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience. Silt disposal sites are our focus for the planning team today.

“While there is no time pressure for the removal of silt, we understand that this is causing anxiety and we’re working on it.”

The silt on land is likely to mean a loss of production for the horticultural and agricultural sectors.

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Staff from either EQC or the Insurance Council are expected in Gisborne soon.

Mr Green says the advice from insurance companies is to take photos and don’t attempt any work to repair it unless you’ve spoken to your insurer first.

“If unsure seek advice.”

For more information you can find information on the Council website or contact: or phone 0800 777 299 or 03 379 7027

There is also a new service announced yesterday by Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Dr Duncan Webb.

  • The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) will provide expert support to homeowners with insurance claims after natural disasters to avoid disputes, resolve issues and ensure claims are settled as quickly as possible. This service will be live from today (Monday 20 February 2023). Homeowners who have concerns about their claim or are unsure about the process can contact NZCRS on 0508 624 327, email or visit

The first port of call is always to work things through with the insurer in the first instance, but if you get stuck or need support with unresolved claims, contact this new service.

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