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Heavy rain impacts being monitored


Isolated communities, road closures and slips are the main concerns following the weekend’s heavy rain event.

More than 300mm of rain has fallen in some areas of the district, isolating rural communities with around 30 people blocked in.

More than 20 roads around the district are closed, with crews working to punch through and restore access where possible.

Heavy rainfall on already saturated ground has had a significant impact on our rural communities with massive slips and access issues. Rural communities are suggesting the damage to land is greater than Cyclone Gabrielle.

River and surface flooding have impacted the township and immediate surrounding areas – some properties have been impacted for the third time this year. Wairoa District Council staff and the Wairoa Recovery team have been door-knocking in town and checking on people in rural areas.

An evacuation centre has been set up at the War Memorial Hall - there have been no evacuations at this stage, but the centre is ready if needed.

Rivers, waterways and weather conditions are continuing to be monitored by Wairoa Civil Defence, Wairoa District Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and emergency services. 

The orange heavy rainfall warning has been lifted. High tide is 5.36pm this evening, and while no issues are expected, the Wairoa Civil Defence team will continue to monitor.

Wairoa Civil Defence Controller Juanita Savage urged people to look after themselves and each other. “This is a challenging time and our thoughts are with all our impacted whānau and our rural and farming communities who are really suffering.”

A reminder, heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly. Surface flooding, slips, and unstable ground are also possible, and driving conditions may be hazardous.

People are asked to stay away from rivers, waterways and areas of surface flooding. It is not known what is in flood waters at any given time, so it is important people stay away. All flood water, including puddles and rivers, should be treated as contaminated. Sewage may be mixed with flood waters and can cause serious illness.

For local network roading updates, please go to

SH2 South to Napier is closed near Café 287. For updates, please go to

26 November 2023

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