18 Jan 2018

'People are still living in their severely damaged homes'

8:01 am on 18 January 2018

Kaiaua flood victims who had no insurance are struggling to get back on their feet, says the local mayor.

Kaiaua after flooding.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The town was flooded earlier this month after heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges.

Hauraki District Council mayor John Tredidga said about 240 homes were flooded and most were uninhabitable without significant repair.

"People are stressed, these houses have been flooded by sea water which destroys everything, this is a lot more significant than most people realise.

"It's going to take a long time for people to pick up the pieces, we know quite a few only had house insurance and no contents cover so yeah they are struggling," Mr Tredidga said.

A fund has been set up to fundraise for those with limited or no insurance cover.

The council was in talks with the Civil Defence minister about the government making a contribution to the fund, said Mr Tredidga.

Flooding on Kowhai Ave in Kaiaua.

Flooding on Kowhai Ave in Kaiaua. Photo: RNZ / Supplied

"In some cases people are still living in their severely damaged homes because they have no-where else to go."

He said trustees would administer all funds raised to ensure they went to those who needed it the most.

Mr Tredidga said there would have to be discussions around the future sustainability of the town due to the floods.

"This is the worst flooding since the Paeroa floods in 1981, but it's not the first time the town has flooded.

"Bigger discussions have to be had around climate change and how with deal with it in this community and how central government helps to manage that," he said.

- RNZ

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