As the Wairoa district works to recover from high rainfall and significant weather events the government has pledged continued support.
Last Thursday, Minister for Civil Defence and Emergency Management Kiritapu Allan, visited the Ruakituri community to assess the impacts of Ex Tropical Cyclone Fili and the accumulative effects of the significant rain events at end of March.
In response she released a $100,000 contribution to the Mayoral Relief fund to assist with immediate needs the Wairoa District Council is dealing with.
She also pledged ongoing government support as Wairoa goes through its process of recovery.
Minister Allan described the Te Reinga Bridge, which was closed due to structural damage, ‘as a critical life link’.
Minister Allan and support staff and media travelled the alternative Ohuka/Erepeti roads acknowledging the range of connectivity issues the community is enduring.
“Wairoa has suffered substantial infrastructural issues and as a government we are here to support Wairoa as they go through their process of recovery.
“Today (Thursday 14.04.22) we are carrying out an analysis of the issues and my role is to make sure my colleagues in roading, education and across the board are appraised of other ways on which the government can assist Mayor Craig Little and this town.
“These types of events where people can be blocked in for weeks can be traumatic. It is critical that how we respond to emergencies is linked together and working well.
“We can see the scarred landscape, the rugged alternative route which is now the key linking road and know there are on farm needs and stock needs. This is trouble street for a lot of folk.”
Minister Allan said people are trying to navigate the best they can but it’s been a rough ride and we are going to do the best we can to muck on in.
Mayor Craig Little said Minister Kiritapu Allan’s visit, along with Minister Stuart Nash’s visit, and Minister Meka Whaitiri’s visit earlier in the week, means a lot for the community.
“A lot of our district has been really hammered by these weather events, but Ruakituri has really borne the brunt with the bridge closure and the implications of that. This community is really hurting. This is a huge confidence boost for them,"
“We are very appreciative of Minister Allan’s allocation to the Mayoral Relief Fund. The number one need is getting this community reconnected and we hope to be able to start with pedestrian access and hope that further connectivity will follow.
Mr Litle also praised the Ruakituri community and locals like Nuku Hadfield who drove Minister Allan around to survey the damage.
19 April 2022
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