Good progress being made on disaster recovery
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
Recovery efforts are showing good progress two weeks on from the storm that left farms damaged and homes cut off in central and southern Taranaki.
Essential services across Taranaki have been restored or alternatives have been put in place, including potable (drinkable) water, sewage systems, electricity supply and communications.
Road access to much of Taranaki has been reinstated with inland and eastern hill country passable to 4WD traffic. The upper Waitotara Valley, which bore asignificant portion of flooding, has recently been opened.
Total estimated damage to roading infrastructure is put at $12 million, with the majority of damage occurring within South Taranaki District.
The Waiinu Beach community is still isolated due to access issues, with significant damage to the bridge between Waiinu and Waitotara. Temporary access has been established and a long-term solution is being sought by South Taranaki District Council.
The Silver Fern Farms’ Waitotara plant has been shut down for an extended period due to lack of access resulting from the bridge closure and process plant workers and agencies are assessing the assistance that can be provided.
Economic impacts on the farming sector, the rural supply chain and broader economic impacts are starting to be considered. The rural economic work is being led by the Ministry for Primary Industries, which is working along side Civil Defence Emergency Management.
An increasing focus of the recovery is on supporting people affected by the flooding event.
Significant damage to farms, particularly hill country sheep and beef farmers, involves damaged farm fences and loss of pasture.
Supporting farmers and their families is becoming an increasingly important focus, and recovery efforts are being made to provide clear information on help available and who to contact. Rural support networks are also being activated, and farmers are encouraged to talk to their neighbours and support each other. A range of shed meetings for rural communities are planned.
An information pack is available to anybody affected by the flood event, which covers what assistance is available and who to contact. These are being distributed directly to rural communities, and are available at South Taranaki and Stratford district councils and online at www.cdemtaranaki.govt.nz.
During the next several weeks, the Recovery Office will be focusing on outreach and welfare assessment coordination (focused particularly on rural families), keeping affected communities informed about the help that is available to them,and building a picture of rural economic impact (led by Ministry of Primary Industries).
Please donate to the Taranaki Disaster Relief Fund to help families suffering hardship following the devastating floods. Donations can be made at the TSB Bank or online -account name: Taranaki Disaster Relief Fund, account number: 15-3947-0492814-01.
More information is available online at www.cdemtaranaki.govt.nz.
Civil Defence Recovery Manager Craig Campbell-Smart
Media enquiries:Public Information Manager, 021188 9588 or
RecoveryManager, 027 2435796