Mayoral relief fund for Kaiaua storm damage

10:28 am on 13 January 2018

A disaster relief fund has been set up for the Hauraki community of Kaiaua, which was devastated in last week's storm.

Kaiaua after flooding.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The storm damaged 241 homes in Coromandel and the Firth of Thames, leaving 15 uninhabitable, including 12 in Kaiaua.

Another 70 Kaiaua homes are only partially habitable.

Hauraki district mayor John Tregidga kicked off the fundraising with $2000 from his discretionary fund.

There had been "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, he said.

"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."

Mr Tregidga said he would be taking a recommendation to the council for a further contribution.

A proposal for support would also be put to central government following a visit from Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi last Tuesday, he said.

"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," Mr Tregidga said.

"We've had some good conversations and we'll continue to communicate over the coming weeks."

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