River silt and sediment from Cyclone Gabrielle has had a major impact on whānau homes and the township.
Around 12,000 tonnes of silt has been stockpiled with much more silt removal needed, especially from under houses.
A co-ordinated approach to silt removal is being rolled out with silt removal crews set up to remove silt from under flood-affected houses. Silt removal around and under homes involves a different approach for each home depending on access, type of foundation, type of insulation, depth of silt and a risk assessment, including assessment for the presence and management of asbestos. If there is limited space under the home, it is likely to be a job for QRS which is using a high-pressure water system with the other crews manually removing the silt.
For White and Yellow stickered homes especially, assessments and silt removal are important as excessive silt levels can contribute to mould and decay.
The Wairoa District Council is required to also check the silt levels under all houses that have received a white placard/sticker. Staff are out and about assessing white stickered homes and this information will help with understanding the full extent of silt under all stickered houses.
Wairoa Recovery manager Benita Tahuri said planning around silt removal has been a big undertaking and she acknowledged people’s frustrations. “There has been confusion around how these services are managed. We are now channelling all silt removal requests through the Wairoa District Council Customer Service Requests (CSR) forms so we can meet people’s needs in the most efficient way possible.
“We want people to be able to access services and resources as easily as possible and by having one place to go to, we will be able to provide an improved response.
“We ask people to please be patient. Hundreds of homes are affected and silt removal from under some houses can take many days. We are receiving a stream of Customer Service Requests and it will take time to get to everyone. We are doing the best we can, and we thank everyone for their patience. We are also trying to get additional crews into town to assist with silt removal.”
Wairoa District Council Customer Service Requests can be made in person, by phone, online or by email.
When lodging a Customer Service Request please provide as much information as you can to describe your issue and if possible, include photos.
For silt removal please lodge a Customer Service Request:
For more information or an update on any requests that are lodged please email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Wairoa Recovery page on Facebook.
8 May 2023
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