Mansell whānau may lose home to flood

Sonny Mansell's family is facing the possibility that their whānau homestead down College Road in Edgecumbe may never be lived in again. The house has been red stickered by the Whakatāne District Council.

All schools in the Eastern Bay of Plenty are closed today, this is why the Mansell kids are staying indoors.

The Mansell family homestead is situated on the opposite side of the site where floodwaters entered the township. 

Sonny Mansell says, “The walls of the house are lopsided. The ground under the house as well.”

Twelve members of the Mansell family, who were evacuated from Edgecumbe, are staying in Te Teko with relatives. They are concerned with the lack of information they have received regarding the assessment of their family homestead in Edgecumbe. 

Mansell says, “The council, a representative from them, has put a sticker on the house. But they did not explain to my younger brother what that sticker is for and it's a red sticker.”

While the Whakatāne District Council has informed residents to return to their homes, they are focused on Cyclone Cook heading towards the region.

However, they understand the concerns from those regarding the assessments of their homes.  

Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne, “There was some miss-representation, there were C's put on some people's houses from the SPCA, once they have been through and cleared the houses and I presume the stickers now are the ones that have been condemned.”

For now, the Mansell family are staying put. But once they have been given the all-clear, they hope to return to the town they love.