13 Jul 2015

Whanganui families still struggling after floods

10:23 am on 13 July 2015

A Whanganui iwi says supporting families who are still isolated after the floods will in some ways be more difficult now that the region's state of emergency has been lifted.


The small Māori settlement of Pipiriki was stranded after massive slips washed out the road to Raetihi (pictured) and the road that connects it to the city of Whanganui. Photo: SUPPLIED / Ruapehu District Council

The state of emergency was lifted on 2 July after a massive dump of rain in late June caused widespread flooding.

Ngā Waiariki-Ngāti Apa chair Pahia Turia said koha had started to dry up and it had been left to extended family to try and support those whānau still cut off or isolated with food and supplies.

Mr Turia said the families of those trapped by the flood damage had been relying on koha to pay for the food flown by helicopter to their relatives.

He said those that were stranded would have to figure out ways to ensure their extended families could buy them food.

He said it was going to be up to six months before people could get back to some sort of normality.

"We had a meeting [last week and] it's quite clear that the state of emergency has been removed and as a result of that the game changes.

"So for many of those families up there, they've had food and supplies being flown in on a daily basis and once the state of emergency goes, then food that's being provided through koha will probably stop," Mr Turia said.

"Those families will need to figure out ways in which they can get their family that do have access to the likes of supermarkets, to be able to purchase their food and then the flights will continue up into those communities.

"But it won't be like it has been in the last couple of weeks, so there's going to have to be a bit of planning around how we continue to support those families that are isolated."

The flooded kura kaupapa in Whanganui

A kura kaupapa in Whanganui was among buildings flooded last month. Photo: SUPPLIED / Facebook

Waitotara valley

Flooding last month also affected the remote Waitotara Valley. Photo: SUPPLIED

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