Displaced Nelson Tasman residents urged to enrol with Temporary Accommodation Service

8:37 pm on 28 September 2022
Nelson flood damage in Atawhai as seen on 19 August 2022.

Flood waters and slips rushed through many properties in Atawhai, Nelson, during last month's storm. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Hundreds of people were displaced by last month's flooding across Nelson and Tasman, but less than 50 households have registered for accommodation support.

Civil Defence figures show there are currently 36 red stickered properties and 115 with yellow stickers across Nelson and Tasman.

The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has received 46 registrations since last month's severe weather event - 38 from Nelson and eight from Tasman.

Response and recovery manager Julia Shanahan said while the need had been low, she expected the service would hear from more people as the extent of damage to properties became evident.

Every effort was made to keep families and their pets together while finding temporary accommodation and most people were being housed in motels, as it was a challenge finding short-term accommodation in the current housing market, she said.

"Currently we are reliant on commercial accommodation and that will be the case until we can establish what the wider need is in the community and the longevity of displacement across the community."

Even if people did not currently need help with accommodation, they should still register with the service in the event that might change, Shanahan said.

"If there is any inkling you or your family need support we would really encourage you to register with us pre-emptively so we can understand what your needs might be in the future."

Portable cabins or a temporary village were potential options depending on the level of need in the community.

A drop-in session is being held for those with red and yellow stickered properties at the Nelson City Council Chamber on Wednesday from 5-8pm.

TAS staff will also be available at the Nelson City Council building on Thursday September 29 between 9am-12pm for those with questions about the service and what it could provide.

People can also register with TAS at: www.temporaryaccommodation.mbie.govt.nz, or, by calling 0508 754 163 seven days a week Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm or Saturday to Sunday 9am-5pm.

State of emergency recovery transition period extended

The local recovery transition period for the Nelson Tasman region's state of emergency has also been extended by 28 days and will now expire on 26 October.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said the extension was made with the support of Tasman Mayor Tim King and would give the councils time to continue assessing and managing the damage from the August weather event.

The transition period gives the recovery manager powers under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act to aid the recovery efforts. That includes emergency works, clearing of roads and public places, and ensuring structures are safe.

Reese said so far the focus had been getting people safely back into their homes, with a focus on the infrastructure repairs needed to make that happen.

"Our wider infrastructure was significantly affected. While we have been able to bounce back quickly to provide our core services, we still have a lot of work to do to get them back to where they need to be. It will take time for us all to recover."

The Mayoral Relief fund] is still accepting applications for those who have been impacted by the event and are not able to receive assistance from insurance or other agencies. Click here for more information and details on how to apply visit.

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