Massive post-flood clean up continues in the lower North Is

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
Whanganui clean up continues - Photo / Wepiha Te Kanawa

A massive clean up across the rural communities in Whanganui, Manawatū and Taranaki are underway following the flooding that hit the lower North Island over the weekend.

From Taranaki across to Rangitāne, Raukawa in the South as far north as Maniapoto, iwi are just realising the full extent of the damage to their homes and marae.

As the water abates in flooded areas of Whanganui, the extent of the damage is revealed. 400 Whanganui residents weren't able to return to their homes last night, and many isolated rural residents are still being contacted.

The government has allocated $250,000 to provide assistance and Te Runanga o Ngāti Apa has allocated a small amount to help in rural areas. Many locals have said that money isn't what they need, but more hands on the ground.

Three days after one of Whangaehu's worst floods, the grim reality is only setting in now.

House occupant Pauline Tahau says "I'm not ready to leave."

Pauline's processions lay on her front lawn covered in a thick layer of silt. A few precious items were saved.

Residents of Kauangaroa were isolated for days before they had road access to Whanganui.

"We are still trying to comprehend the extent of the damage," says Gerrard Albert of Ngāti Apa.

Putiki Marae in Whanganui was damaged, along with the Kura Kaupapa and the Kōhanga Reo .

It's unsure how much damage has been caused, or how much it will cost, but locals are not going to wait around and do nothing.