Nelson Fires update: state of emergency extended

By Jessica Tyson

Members of the public in Nelson will notice an increase in police presence after the state of emergency was extended in fire-affected areas.

In a statement, police say there will be more officers patrolling the affected areas, managing cordons and assisting with further evacuations should they be required.

"The Wakefield Police Station remains open and will be staffed 24 hours a day through to Friday 15 February at 4pm," the statement reads, “After this the station will return to standard operating hours.”

Police officers, the New Zealand Defence Force and Red Cross staff will also visit all homes in Wakefield later today and this evening.

“The purpose of the visits are to offer reassurance, provide a fact sheet with advice and remind residents of the process for re-evacuation should it be necessary.”

Cordons remain in place at Pigeon Valley, Teapot Valley, Eves Valley, Golden Hills, Redwood Hills and Barton Lane West.

Government helpline for people affected by Nelson/Tasman fires

Anyone affected by the Nelson/Tasman fires can now call the Government Helpline 0800 779 997.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) helpline is available from 7am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

Group General Manager Client Service Delivery, Kay Read says people affected by the fires don’t have to be on a benefit to get help from MSD.

"We’re here to offer support to anyone who’s finding it hard to meet urgent costs.  These may include accommodation, food, bedding, clothing and transport.

"You can call 0800 779 997 if you’ve been affected by the Nelson/Tasman fires and would like help, are struggling to support yourself or your family, or you’d like more information about how we might be able to help you.

"If you’re experiencing hardship as a result of the fires, we’re here to help you and we want to hear from you."