27 October 2018
As flood-affected residents move back home, the generosity of local businesses is helping them settle back in.
The team in Rotorua Lakes Council’s Flood Recovery Office has worked together with local businesses to create the packs which have various vouchers, treats and goodies.
The Welcome Home Packs are being given to residents who were displaced from their homes after the severe weather event of April 29.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick and Flood Recovery Office kaiārahi Tere Lawson delivered some Welcome Home Packs this week.
Their first stop was Janice and Joseph O’Brien’s York Street home. The couple, who are in their 80s, had flood waters up to their knees flowing into their home.
Rotorua residents Liandra and Buck Allen stumbled upon them and have since adopted the O’Briens as their parents.
Janice says their flood recovery journey has been “pretty smooth” and that is down to the generosity of the Allens as well as other contractors.
“We know we are incredibly lucky.
“We have had great support from Jae Rotorua, Tower Insurance, Gallagher and Bassett assessors, and Terry Robinson and his men at Lifestyle Building Solutions.”
She says it is great to be back in her home and with her two cats.
“We have just been so well looked after. We are very grateful for all the help and support we have received.”
She says the Welcome Home was an added bonus.
“What a lovely gesture. It does make us feel a bit special.”
The team from Lifestyle Building Solutions, who did the repair work to the O’Brien’s house, also dropped off a gift basket to welcome them home.
“We are just so surprised,” Janice says.
Mayor Chadwick says it has been humbling meeting people after they returned home.
“We want to make sure people have felt supported and it is great to see people settling back into their homes. We have heard how awful the flooding was for them, so for them to be home is pretty special.”
Recovery Manager Andy Bell says the main focus of the Recovery Office was to help those who have been affected.
“That has been at the forefront of everything we have done.
“The kaiārahi have done an amazing job and provided great support to those people who have been affected or were displaced. They have been a driving force which has helped people back into their homes.”
A big thanks to all of the contributing businesses:
Off Road NZ
Paradise Valley Springs
Lewis Road Creamery
Vivo Hair Salon
Rotorua Aquatic Centre
Tamaki Māori Village
Bai Mint Thai Massage