Rural areas

​After flooding, the message is clear - take care of yourself, your family, your workers, your neighbours and your animals. 


After flooding

  • Take care of yourself, your family, your workers, your neighbours and your animals
  • Ensure stock and domestic animals have food, clean water, shelter, and are secure. 

Food and water safety

  • Throw away food and water that has had contact with floodwater
  • Boil or purify water before drinking or using it in food preparation, if your water source has been contaminated
  • Do not eat vegetables or fruits that have been washed in untreated water
  • Always wash and dry your hands before preparing food or use hand sanitiser
  • Boil your pets' drinking water – don't let them drink from floodwaters.
    If you can't boil water, use purifying tablets or bleach. Add five drops of household bleach per litre of water (half a teaspoon for 10 litres) and leave for 30 minutes. Do not use bleaches with any additives.

Animal welfare

  • Talk to your industry organisation and vet about any concerns
  • Talk to your local Rural Support Trust and Regional Council land management officer about urgent stock drinking water options and grazing free from silt
  • Talk to your advisors and Rural Support Trust about feed and budget planning.

Damage assessment

  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which troughs need cleaning of silt?
  • Assess damage to pastures, the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other undamaged feed reserves.


  • Take notes and photographs of damage and call your insurer as soon as possible
  • Do what you can to make things safe, secure and watertight and keep receipts and evidence
  • For damage related to your insured home and nearby land, contact EQC to register a claim. 

The Earthquake Commission may also be able to help you.  You can find out what's covered by EQC at and how you can make a claim

Financial support

  • Talk to your accountant about financial options, and your bank.

Detail on managing animals and pasture after flooding is available:

Call your Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP(0800 787 254) for support, advice, or just a chat - it's free and confidential.

Useful contacts and information

  • Rotorua Lakes Council helpline: 0800 020 001
  • Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254
  • Ministry for Primary: Industries (Animal Welfare): 0800 00 83 33
  • Rotorua SPCA: 07 349 2995
  • EQC:
  • Your insurer, bank, advisors and accountant.
  • Bay of Plenty Regional Council:  0800 884
  • Waikato Regional Council:0800 800 401:
  • DairyNZ: 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969)
  • Fonterra for milk collection issues / special collection arrangement 0800 656568
  • Federated Farmers: 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)


Roading maintenance

Contractors are continuing to work through requests for service. See the following links for drone footage thanks to Interpine Group Ltd for drone footage:

Please report any roading issues to Rotorua Lakes Council 0800 020 001


  • Keep animals away from flood water. It may be contaminated with biological waste and chemicals. If you come into contact with an animal that has been in flood water, change your clothing and wash your hands thoroughly. If you can, wear protective gear such as overalls, gloves and a mask.
  • If animals are left in contaminated water, they are at risk of bacterial infections, chemical burns and sloughing of their skin. You can cleanse their skin/coat by hosing them down with non-contaminated water.
  • If the water is not safe for you to drink, it is not safe for your animals. Do not let animals drink flood water if possible since it may be contaminated. Make sure they have access to clean water.
  • Pasture and stored feed may be contaminated by flood water. Feed out stored feed or supplementary feed. Prioritise feeding to high priority animals - high value stock or vulnerable stock (e.g. stock close to giving birth, young stock).
  • If you had to move stock during flooding update your NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme) records. Ensuring animal records are up-to-date is vital to ensure that NAIT can provide biosecurity and disease management support. If you need help with your NAIT account or updating your records call 0800 48 24 63.

Lost and found animals

  • If you find a farm animal with no clear owner, contact your Local Council Animal Management/ SPCA.
  • If you find a pet that needs medical attention, please take it to your local veterinarian or SPCA.
  • If you need help with animal rescue, contact your local SPCA, Council or Civil Defence Centre.
  • If you find injured native wildlife contact Department of Conservation.
  • For non-native species contact your local veterinarian or SPCA.
  • If you have lost or found a pet post the details on, the New Zealand Companion Animal Register 0800 LOSTPET (0800 567873) or a local veterinarian.

Leptospirosis in domestic animals

There has been an increase in leptospirosis bacteria in domestic animals and livestock in New Zealand. This is not uncommon in areas that have been flooded, and have damp soil or stagnant water.

Leptospirosis can be easily caught from affected animals. It is carried in animal urine and can cause kidney and liver disease in people with possible long lasting effects such as chronic fatigue.

Protect yourself, your family, and staff by vaccinating your animals, controlling rodents, practicing good personal hygiene (hand washing after touching animals, their feed, bedding, and pooled water, and cover wounds); use protective equipment (gloves and boots); and visit a GP early, especially if you have flu like symptoms.

Vaccination of your animals is critical to breaking the cycle of infection. Pigs, dogs, alpacas, sheep, and cattle are a few of the common animals that can be vaccinated against leptospirosis. Call your vet for an appointment.

For further information on leptospirosis talk to your vet or search safer farms lepto

Mycoplasma bovis

Mycoplasma bovis is a bacterium that can cause a range of quite serious conditions in cattle including mastitis that don't respond to treatment – pneumonia, arthritis and late-term abortions.

The disease may be dormant in an animal causing no disease at all. But in times of stress (for example, calving, drying-off, transporting, or being exposed to extreme weather) it may shed bacteria in milk and nasal secretions. As a result, other animals may be infected and become ill or carriers themselves.

It does not infect humans and presents no food safety risk. It is an animal welfare and productivity issue.

MPI, animal production industry bodies, veterinarians and farmers are working together on a large-scale biosecurity response to the disease. 

To assist in the response it's critical that you maintain up-to-date and accurate NAIT (New Zealand's cattle and deer tracing system) and animal movement records. Accurate record keeping helps us track animal movements and locate any that could be affected.  

For more information on how to prevent the spread of M. Bovis please refer to

  • Questions for MPI – 0800 00 83 33 or Email:
  • Farmer Support Line – 027 444 9380 or Email:
  • Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254
Page reviewed: 08 May 2018 9:47am