EBOP Communities remain isolated after floods

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Some rural communities around the Bay of Plenty still remain isolated three days after floods hit the region.

Three small communities are banding together to as relief efforts have been focused mainly on the neighbouring community of Edgecumbe. Te Kāea understands that supplies were delivered by the Civil defence to the communities of Minginui, Ruatahuna and Waimana today

The main roads to get in and out of Minginui and Te Whāiti has been washed out.

Local civil defence coordinator Winiata Tamaki says he and a few others were surveying the extent of the damage to the roads. Tamaki noticed roads were cracking and crumbling away as the foundation beneath the concrete had eroded.

Local leaders have ordered that no one travel until they all clear is given from officials.

Te Kāea understands there are talks with Timberlands who own the private logging truck road who may give locals access to this. But there are safety concerns in using this road.

Approximately 30 people were trapped in their vehicles as they were travelling between Minginui and Te Whāiti. They were airlifted out of the area last night and took refuge at Rangitahi Marae in Murupara.

The community of Ruatahuna is in good spirits even though they have no access. The 10 hapū met today to discuss their medical priorities.

Te Kāea spoke to Iharaira Temara from Tūhoe Manawaru Tribal Authority, and he made it clear that they want Civil Defence to put their resources on their neighbouring communities that are in dire straits.

13km south of Tāneatua, most of the community of Waimana is operable. The local school is up and running. However, there's no access past Raroa Marae.