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Tairāwhiti stays in a state of emergency

Tuesday 29 March, 2022

Tairāwhiti will remain in a state of emergency as the region continues to be plagued by bad weather and the challenges that come with a very saturated terrain.

It has been a week since it was first declared early on Wednesday (March 23) and the region has had little respite since. Contractors are still working hard to clear roads, contain slips, and reconnect the region.

Tairāwhiti Civil Defence group controller David Wilson says communities are still cut off with food parcels and other necessities being dropped in or delivered by the New Zealand Defence Force Unimog and others.

Residents along the Waipaoa River received a cautionary alert this morning as levels started to rise, but no evacuations were necessary. Last week however, whānau in Tokomaru Bay, Anaura Bay, Te Karaka, Manutuke, Makarika, and others were evacuated, with some still unable to return to their now uninhabitable homes.

Inspections are continuing at homes in Gisborne city and up the Coast to determine whether they can be cleaned up and lived in, or whether they will be issued dangerous building notices.

“We are still very much in a response mode,” says Mr Wilson. “We have hundreds of people out inspecting homes, working on the roading network, restoring power and communications, and generally helping where they can.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited affected regions alongside the Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan who earlier in the week announced a $175,000 boost for the Mayoral Relief Fund.

The state of emergency will now remain in place for a further week but is reviewed regularly.

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