Getting help

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you have been affected, or you know of people who have been affected and need support, please ring Rotorua Lakes Council on 07 348 4199 or Freephone 0800 020 001.

Flood affected residents could be eligible for financial assistance or help with temporary accommodation. 

If financial assistance is needed contact the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 559 009 or visit 

The Temporary Accommodation Service was also activated by the Government at midday on 9 May 2018 to support people displaced by the flooding. More information on the service can be found at  

Temporary accommodation

What is the Temporary Accommodation Service? 

The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) provides support to people displaced by natural disasters who need help finding a temporary place to stay, while their home is repaired or rebuilt.

TAS proved to be a vital support service for people affected by the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, flooding in Edgecumbe, and the recent tropical cyclones on the West Coast.

Who can seek assistance from the Temporary Accommodation Service?

Anyone whose home was damaged by the recent severe rain event and flooding in Rotorua, and needs help finding temporary accommodation, can seek assistance from TAS.

We encourage anyone who needs temporary accommodation, whether now, or in the future (for example, if you expect your current temporary living situation will change), to register with TAS now. This will allow TAS to understand your needs and find a suitable temporary accommodation option for you.

How can I seek assistance the Temporary Accommodation Service?

Those wanting assistance to find temporary accommodation should register their details at or call 0508 754 163.

What will happen after I've registered my details?

After receiving your registration, a TAS matching and placement co-ordinator will contact you within two working days to get a better understanding of your needs by asking questions about where people in your household work or go to school, how long you will likely need temporary accommodation, and any special requirements.

Once TAS has a good idea of what temporary accommodation will be appropriate for your household, our staff will present you with options to choose from. They will also advise you on next steps of how to secure these accommodation options, if you find them suitable.

TAS's first preference is to match registered households with existing undamaged private rental stock. If there is not enough undamaged private rental stock, or the household is too remote, TAS will look at using portable cabins, if the site permits.

Is there a cost for using the Temporary Accommodation Service?

Generally there is a cost for all temporary accommodation options. TAS staff will discuss with you what you can afford to pay, and work with you to find a suitable option. Check with your insurance provider to see if your policy will cover the rent for temporary accommodation.

If you are uninsured, or your insurance policy doesn't cover temporary accommodation, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Ministry of Social Development.​

Financial assistance from MSD

Important information:

  • You don't have to be on a benefit.

  • You may have to pay the money back depending on your situation.

There are lots of ways MSD can help and they can point you in the right direction based on your situation.

Help with urgent or unexpected costs

If you have urgent or unexpected costs because of the flooding, MSD may be able to help. These could be things like:
  • petrol
  • food
  • furniture

How you apply for these costs depends on what you need help with. 

Help with living expenses

If you have urgent living expenses because of flooding, we might be able to help. These could be things like:

  • Medical costs
  • House repairs or maintenance
  • Replacing appliances
  • Bedding
  • Food
  • Rent
  • Power bills.

How you apply for these costs depends on what you need help with. Call MSD to discuss your situation.

Loss of income

If you lose wages because of flooding, we may be able to help, eg:

  • you can't work because you're sick
  • you have to stay home and look after family members
  • your workplace is closed

Call MSD to discuss your situation.

Other help

We also provide other help such as benefits and housing assistance. Everyone's circumstances is different so what you may be able to get depends on your situation.

Call MSD on 0800 559 009 if you:

  • would like assistance
  • aren't sure if you can get assistance
  • are struggling to support yourself or your family
  • would like more information

MSD may be able to help you over the phone, without you coming into an office.

If you do need to visit an office, an appointment can be made for you and they will let you know what to bring.​

​Useful sources of information:

  1. Your health and wellbeing is important, remember extreme event such as severe weather affects us all in different ways, here's a resource that may help you through this difficult time.  

  2. Your home may be affected by contaminated water and/or sustained structural damage go to the Toi te Ora Public Health website for more information and advice

  3. The New Zealand Insurance council has information on dealing with flood damaged property

  4. Temporary accomodation is available via the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and alternatively you can ring 0508 754 163 to discuss your requirements.

  5. If you need financial assistance phone Ministry of Social Development on 0800 559 009 or visit

  6. EQC (The Earthquake Commission)  can provide some help in the aftermath of a storm. Check their website for information and timelines around lodging a claim.​

The Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund

The Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund has been set up for those wanting to contribute financially to support residents who have been affected by the severe weather event on April 29.

The Mayoral fund can also attract contributions from the likes of central government and philanthropic organisations. 

Eligibility criteria have also been established along with an assessment committee, which currently includes Mayor Chadwick, Rotorua Lakes Council Community Board chair Shirley Trumper and Te Tatau o Te Arawa representative Ngahuia Hona-Paki.

The fund will provide grants for affected residents in the form of a one-off hardship grant, with priority given to situations where:

  • There are extra financial burden or costs due to flooding;
  • There is a family or personal crisis;
  • Costs are not covered by insurance or other funds such as Work and Income New Zealand.

Anyone affected by the flood can apply for a grant from the Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund, not just those displaced from their homes. 

A Givealittle page has also been set up to encourage people to donate. The funds raised via Givealittle, go directly into the Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund bank account. 

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 and search 'Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund'

Terms of reference:

Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund Terms of Reference.DOCX

Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund application form

If different from residential address
Please specify number of adults and children
The Rotorua Lakes Council Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund is open for applications for assistance for those affected by the April 2018 floods. Priority will be given to those experiencing: 1. Extra financial burden or costs due to the flooding 2. Family or personal crisis 3. Costs not covered by insurance or other funds, such as WINZ support All applications will be considered by the Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund Assessment Committee.
Please attach supporting information for verification of costs (quotes, receipts, invoices)
Is your home owned by you or rented?
Are you insured?
Have you made a claim with EQC?
Have you registered with Council's Flood Recovery Office
Please enter your bank account Name and number. Attach a deposit slip from your bank account in order to ensure funds can be released to you, should your application be successful.
I certify that the information provided in this application is correct and if I provide false information I understand that my application will be null and void.
I give permission for the Mayoral Committee to verify the information provided with any agencies that may be involved
Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:11am