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Wairoa significantly impacted by river flooding - 16 February update

Civil Defence

A State of Emergency was declared at 8.53am on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.

This is the most catastrophic weather event Wairoa has experienced in living memory.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated, our concerns are the welfare of our people, our isolation, lack of communication, electricity, food, water and fuel restrictions.

Our people are our priority. Please be patient. We are doing everything we can to meet our immediate needs. Our focus is on reopening main roads so we can bring supplies in. We are now actively working with national and regional agencies which are now aware of our situation.

Communication is still patchy. We are trying to share the information we believe is accurate.

Evacuation Centres

While the immediate need to evacuate has lessened, if you feel unsafe please evacuate, you do not need to be told. If you leave your home, take vital supplies, medication, leave your homes secure.

Evacuation centres have been established at the War Memorial Hall, Presbyterian Hall and the Mormon Chapel at Nuhaka. Please stay with whānau or friends if you can.


Fuel restriction is of particular concern for residents. Fuel reserves are very tight in the short-term. Fuel is restricted for emergency service use only to ensure emergency services are able to operate.


Food parcels are being brought into the district. Kai packs are available for pick up from the Te Whare Maire building (on the corner Queen St, Locke St) from 10-11am and 2-3pm daily.

Breakfast is available at the War Memorial Hall from 7.30am to 11.00am; Rapid Relief is available at Kahungunu Executive. Lunch at 12pm and dinner at 5pm; Volunteers have set up a BBQ between 12-2pm and 4-7pm at the Memorial Park helipad, North Clyde. This may be weather dependant.

New World is open and Eftpos is working. Supplies will hopefully be replenished, please only buy what you need. No alcohol and cigarettes are being sold. There may be wait times, please be patient. New World will close at 5pm everyday until Sunday.


Water supplies are extremely limited. Thank you to everyone who is conserving water. If we continue these conservation efforts, we should be fine. However, it is crucial that we conserve water. Please only use water for drinking.

Wairoa town supply water is safe for drinking. Please boil water from other supplies to stay safe.

Please treat all flood water as contaminated as the wastewater system is overwhelmed. Don’t rush to flush – this puts strain on the water and wastewater systems.


Queen Street Practice is open from 9.00am - 5.00pm. If you need acute services please go to the Queen Street Practice, or if you cannot get there the War Memorial Hall, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) at Wairoa District Council, the ambulance station, Civil Defence or the Police. After Hours is being serviced by the Emergency Department.

Please do not stop your usual medications (including contraceptives). Request your repeat prescriptions as usual from QSP. Wairoa Pharmacy is open.

If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate for 7 days. Anti-viral pills are available to people over 50. If you are short of breath or unwell, send a contact to Te Whare Maire o Tapuwae offices to inform us.

If are you wanting someone to talk to, or for drug and alcohol concerns, there is support available in the first instance at Kahungunu Executive and also Wairoa Hospital Mental Health, the War Memorial Hall, Enabled Wairoa or Police.


For WINZ support, please go to Financial Literacy Services on Queen St, between 10am – 5pm.


Multiple roads are inaccessible throughout the district. SH2 South to Napier is closed at the Mohaka Viaduct. The priorities are reopening SH2 North to Gisborne and SH38.  Contractors are focussing on accessibility around the local roading network.

The general public are asked to stay off the roads and keep roads clear for emergency vehicles and civil defence personnel. Unnecessary traffic is hindering their current emergency response.


Vodafone have set up a connection to their network at the War Memorial Hall, and hopefully Taihoa Marae - TBC. Spark are urgently working to restore connectivity to Wairoa as a main priority.


Multiple areas of the Wairoa District are without power. Restoring power to these parts is an urgent priority. Power updates are on the Eastland Network Facebook page. Printed updates will be on whiteboards at Taihoa Marae and the War Memorial Hall.

Property Damage

Council building staff are inspecting damaged properties. A white, yellow and red sticker system is being used. White means liveable. Yellow means non-liveable but you can go in for cleaning, retrieving items, but you cannot stay. Red means unsafe, no access.

If your property has been damaged, take photos for insurance claims..

Kāinga Ora tenants who require urgent house repairs can meet Housing Manager – Piripi Chrisite at the Wairoa War Memorial Hall on Friday 17th February from 10am – 11am.

District Wide

We know there are people who are still isolated throughout our district, we are working to regain contact. Support hubs have been set up at some marae.


Thank you to the Wairoa College Student Volunteer Group for your help. Anyone who would like to help out should just head to an area of need.

Further Updates and Support

We will try to put out updated flyers daily. These can be collected from the Council offices and volunteers will also distribute these where possible. Updates are also available via on 88FM Radio Te Wairoa. The Wairoa District Council Facebook and Website pages will carry community updates.

If you have concerns or queries please call into the Wairoa District Council offices.

This is a trying time for everyone. Look after yourselves and be kind. All decisions are being made with the entire district in mind. Please stay safe whānau.

17 February 2023

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