On Friday 5th of January a low pressure system bought heavy rain and strong winds to most of the North Island. The storm and tidal surges caused major flooding and damage to homes and properties in the Kaiaua Coast area including, Kiaua, Whakatiwai, Waharau, and Pūkorokoro-Miranda. There was also major saltwater flooding of farms.
Kaiaua Recovery Update 5:00pm, 14 January
Relief fund for flood-ravaged Kaiaua coast communities
A disaster relief fund has been set up by the Council following last week’s Kaiaua coast storm event.
The fund follows an overwhelming response from people wanting to donate money to help devastated coastal communities, including Kaiaua, Waharau, Whakatiwai and Pūkorokoro/Miranda, get back on their feet.
Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga says locals have shown incredible resilience and community spirit during and after the flooding but there is still a long road ahead. The fund is a practical way others who may wish to, can help.
“This area has experienced flooding before, but in all my years in Local Government and as Mayor I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, “the coastline is completely changed. The sea has come in like a tsunami and just ripped through houses, properties and farmland. Some people have lost everything. It’s heart-breaking.”
The Mayor is contributing $2000 from his discretionary fund to kick things off and will be taking a recommendation to the Council for a further contribution. A proposal for support will also be put to Central Government following a visit from Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi last Tuesday.
“The Minister was very impressed with the way Kaiaua coast communities have rallied together and helped each other through this but he also saw the devastation first-hand and how much work is still to be done. We’ve had some good conversations and we’ll continue to communicate over the coming weeks,” The Mayor said.
You can donate to the Kaiaua Coast Disaster Relief Fund:
- At any branch of the Westpac Bank
- Online banking
- Account Number: 03-0435-0768043-001
- Account Name: Kaiaua Disaster Relief Fund
- At any of our three Council Offices in Paeroa, Waihi and Ngatea
Kaiaua Recovery Update 5:00pm, 11 January
Initial assessments of the damage to homes and farms in storm affected areas of the Kaiaua coast, including Kaiaua, Waharau, Whakatiwai, and Pukorokoro/Miranda, have now been completed. Anyone who thinks their home or property may have been missed is asked to please phone the council and arrange a visit.
Overall, 241 residential buildings were inspected. Of these, 12 are considered severely damaged and uninhabitable, 72 are considered moderately damaged and partially habitable, and 157 received minor damage.
In the rural sector, 18 farms have been assessed by Civil Defence teams in conjunction with Rural Support Trust. Of these farms, 3 are considered to have severe pasture and crop damage. The remaining farms have varying amounts of pasture and crop damage. We are also aware of potential damage to property located in a small area of Waikato District, bordering Hauraki District. These properties are being assessed by Waikato District Council.
Council Civil Defence Recovery Manager Peter Thom says Council and the Rural Support Trust will be following up on a number of enquiries and offering help where they can. The Council is also in the process of setting up a Disaster Relief Fund for the Kaiaua Coast area.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from people wanting to donate money to help those affected by the flooding. We’ll publicise details of how people can donate to this fund as soon as we can,” he said.
The clean-up continues
Skip bins will continue to be available along the coast for residents doing clean-up work until the end of the weekend. After this people should contact their private insurers about covering the cost of rubbish removal.
Dust sweepers have recently been clearing dust from East Coast Road. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to dampen the roads before doing this work as it doesn’t sweep up well when wet, and once it dries it sets a bit like concrete. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this and appreciate people’s patience while we get this work done. As dust will collect in gutters and on rooves during this work, we advise people to disconnect rainwater tanks and spouting before the next rainfall to avoid dust entering their water supplies.
The Kaiaua Boat Ramp Freedom camping area is closed until further notice to prevent overloading of infrastructure in the area. Rays Rest camping area is not officially closed, but we are advising people to avoid the area as the sand that has been deposited there is deep and soft in places and vehicles have needed to be towed out. Contractors will also be doing quite a bit of work in the area over the coming weeks.
Ministry of Health guidance
- Swimming in the area is safe
- Eating shellfish gathered in the area is not recommended at this time
- Most home-grown vegetables and fruit affected by flood water can be washed and eaten 7 days after the event. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce should be discarded.
Rural Support Trust
For rural support, information, and advice on what happens to land affected by the recent flooding contact the Rural Support Trust by phone on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or go to the Rural Support Trust website.
The Rural Support Trust is staffed by local rural people that know from experience that severe weather, finances, relationships, and work pressures can all mount up.
Contact them anytime on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) for a confidential chat about you, your business, the weather, your finances; or a neighbor, partner, friend, family member, or worker.
Their support is FREE and if you need more of a chat, they can point you in the right direction.
When farmland is flooded by seawater
The Rural Support Trust has published information on their website relating to farmland and flooding by seawater.
The Insurance Council is advising those affected to contact their insurer as soon as possible.
“When it’s safe to do so, take pictures of any flooding or weather-related damage – this will help your insurer with their assessment when you make a claim,” said Insurance Council Chief Executive, Tim Grafton.
“If property you’ve already photographed receives further damage, take more photos. This is especially important if you need to move damaged or contaminated goods from your house for health and safety reasons.”
The Earthquake commission says people may be eligible to lodge a claim with EQC as well as your private insurer.
- If you have flood damage to the land around your home, including the access way and retaining walls that support the land (not walls that are landscape features only) then contact EQC. EQC does not cover flood damage to your house or its contents so for this you will need to talk to your private insurer
- To get EQC cover, you need to have a home or contents insurance policy that includes fire protection (most do) with a private insurance company when the natural disaster damage occurred.
- While it may speed up the process if you make a claim quickly, you have three months from the date of the damage to lodge your claim.
- EQC recommends lodging a claim with them at the same time as you lodge a claim with your private insurer
EQC Factsheet - January 2018 flooding.pdf (pdf 367kb)
An "event" like last week's storm can be traumatic and it’s normal to feel stressed. Sometimes it takes weeks for emotional and mental stress to start bubbling to the surface. Remember you are not alone. Talk to friends and family. If you feel like you need help at any stage, contact your GP in the first instance.
Here is some information that may be helpful http://www.victimsupport.org.nz/get-help/helping-with-stress-after-a-disaster/