12 August 2018
Residents are starting to return home after being displaced by the severe weather event on April 29.
More than three months on the Flood Recovery Office kaiārahi (navigators) are still helping those who were affected, but residents are starting to return home. Out of the 94 homes which were issued with insanitary notices, 20 have now been lifted, with another 20 expected to be lifted within the coming weeks.
The kaiārahi have been providing flood affected residents with a wrap-around service, offering them one-on-one support and linking them to key agencies and resources both within council and externally.
Recovery manager Paula Meredith says the kaiārahi are tactful and respectful to everyone’s different situation.
"They have developed a great set of skills and have helped people through very tough and stressful situations."
The kaiārahi have a list of nearly 1000 residents who they have been in contact with, and 475 of those cases have now been closed.
However, Mrs Meredith says people who still need assistance can contact the Flood Recovery Office on 0800 020 001.
Residential Advisory Service support is also available to help with insurance issues on 0800 777 299.
The team in the Flood Recovery Office is also putting together Welcome Home packs for those returning home. If your business would like to be involved contact Linda Johnston on email@example.com.
Mrs Meredith says one thing which has come to light is the amount of community spirit in the wake of adversity.
"We have heard so many heart-warming stories of people helping complete strangers and communities coming together to help both individuals and families.
"It is great to hear about how people have helped each other cope and get through."
To help lift the financial burden, the Mayoral Manaakitanga Fund was set up and so far, 59 applications for funding have been approved with nearly $50,000 given to affected residents. More than $57,000 has been donated and applications are still being received daily.
Meanwhile, council stormwater maintenance staff are still clearing drains and repairing minor damage. Flood gates are being installed on the stormwater outfalls along the Ngongotahā Stream. Other improvement works have also been identified.
Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund
Application forms and Terms of Reference can be found on the Rotorua Lakes Council website HERE.
Details for donations
Account name: Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund
Account number: 02-0412-0234516-006
How: Direct Credit or in person at Rotorua Lakes Council building
Details: No specific statement details are needed
Givealitte: Visit givealittle.co.nz and search ‘Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund’.