Northland 'still walking' as red-level rainfall arrives - Shane Reti

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

As Te Tai Tokerau prepares for red-level heavy rain – the strongest warning issued by MetService – National’s Dr Shane Reti (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kura) has been helping out emergency services in Whangārei over the weekend, just as he did in the region’s severe weather event two weeks ago.

With St John Ambulance, his efforts in the north included going to many towns and spreading resources, donated or otherwise, as best they could.

He says good communication in the region to share information, to help and keep everyone safe has been well-received.

For the second time this year, the State Highway 1 entrance to Northland via the Brynderwyns has been closed due to slips. It is still not fixed.

Te Tai Tokerau batttens down the hatches.

“We’ve got infrastructure issues as well just as Auckland has,” Reti says. “But you know, here in the north we lift our chins up and we do what we need to do. The communities are wrapping around as they are.

“We’ve got work to do but e hīkoi tonu, [we’re] still walking.”

Regarding the government’s response to the weather event for most of the country, Reti says it’s more important to make sure people’s safety and needs are the priority.

“I think there will be a debrief and then we’ll take those lessons and ensure we can improve our response next time. That should be what we should do with most emergency management scenarios.”