11 Jul 2014

Keep checking elderly, whanau urged

8:14 pm on 11 July 2014

Far North whanau need to ensure their kaumatua (elders) have enough supplies to ride out the bad weather, Ngati Kahu chief executive Anahera Herbert-Graves says.

Since Tuesday, a fierce storm has raged from Cape Reinga to Kaiwaka, cutting power to thousands of people, snapping power poles like twigs and knocking huge trees down.

About 500 tribal descendants remain without power on Friday.

Ms Herbert-Graves said marae members had been checking on the elderly to ensure they had food, water and wood for their fireplaces, and urged them to keep doing so.

But that was not the case for one elderly woman, who had barely eaten in two days, had no heating and had not heard from her whanau, she said.

Meanwhile, Civil Defence volunteer Mike Butler says floodwaters are at the doors of the Otiria marae on Friday, and whanau there have been shifting everything to safety.

Civil Defence warns that contaminated drinking water could become a major problem in coming days.

Floodwaters at Otiria marae and surrounds on Friday.

Floodwaters at Otiria marae and surrounds on Friday. Photo: Mike Butler