New Zealand

New Zealand: Flood update 24 Feb 2004

Situation Report
Originally published
National emergency operations centre
Date/time: 24 February 2004 1800 hrs Release No: 11

Assistance Payments for Councils By End of Week

The Director of Civil Defence John Norton said today that the councils affected by last week's flood event will be receiving their payments for reimbursement costs by the end of the week.

He said that the Minister of Civil Defence and the Prime Minister have announced that assistance payments, totalling $650,000 (GST inc) will be made to the councils. The assistance payments will be made to councils as an advance on the response costs incurred as follows:

South Taranaki District Council
Wanganui District Council
Rangitikei District Council
Manawatu District Council
Horowhenua District Council
Horizons Manawatu-Wanganui

Grants to Mayoral Relief Funds A payment of $20,000 (GST inc) has also been authorised to the Mayoral Relief Funds of the following councils:

  • South Taranaki
  • Wanganui
  • Rangitikei
  • Manawatu
  • Horowhenua
  • Hutt City
  • Marlborough
An additional contribution of $100,000.00 (GST inclusive) will be made to the Mayoral Relief Funds of the Manawatu and Rangitikei District Councils to reflect the extreme impact in these districts.

The Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Civil Defence can approve further grants to Mayoral Relief Funds as conditions warrant.

Mr Norton said that the regions have established rural, infrastructure and welfare/social support committees. These committees are mirrored at the national level to provide support to the region. An announcement will be made later this week on the appointment of a Recovery Support Facilitator in Wellington to coordinate government input into the regional recovery activity.

For Media enquiries specific to the region, please contact: Manawatu-Wanganui Region -- 06 952 2800 South Taranaki District -- 06 278 0555

For national level enquiries, contact: Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management - Chandrika Kumaran Cell : 04 473 7363

Contact Numbers for Support, Assistance and Donations

  • Government Flood Helpline 0800 779 997
  • Red Cross domestic donations 0900 33 200
  • Palmerston North City/Salvation Army Domestic donations 0800 00 73 5433 or 0800 00 RELIEF
  • International Welfare 04 472 3750
  • Federated Farmers help line 0800 335 663 or 0800 Farming
Regional updates

For updates on the Manawatu-Wanganui region, link to the Horizons Regional Council website

For updates on Hutt City in the Wellington region, link Hutt City Council website

Gas Update

Link to for details.

For latest weather, link to MetService

For the latest road information, link to

Information on Cleanup

Press Release by Horizons Regional Council at 21 Feb 2004 10:52

Horizons Regional Council has information for residents beginning to clean up after this week's rain.

The Building Research Association (BRANZ) has advice on restoring a house after flood damage. A link to the BRANZ website is on Horizons' website under "my favourites - tips for cleaning photos, furniture and much more". Tips are on Horizons website ( under "my favourites".

The Whanganui Regional Museum has provided simple techniques for salvaging photographs, books, documents, papers, artworks, special textiles and furniture to assist people who are coping with damage and loss to their properties. While such things may not be high priority for residents, it is possible to freeze some papers, books and photographs until people have time to deal with them properly.

There is also information on taking health precautions while cleaning contaminated water from homes. Residents should not use vegetables from their vege gardens which may have been contaminated and only use those which can be peeled and boiled.

Once water has receded, people need to get rid of any bedding, clothing, carpet, furniture or other personal items which have been in contact with flood water unless they can be disinfected. They should be listed for insurance purposes. District Councils will have local information on what to do with flood-damaged items.

Walls, floors and any other washable surfaces should be washed with a mix of a litre of bleach to 10 litres of water, left on for half an hour and rinsed off. Windows should be opened, and everything washed down with hot soap and water. Use rubber gloves and disinfect any cuts.

If raw sewage has affected homes, residents should notify their District Council so the house can be inspected by a Health Inspector. Once things have dried out, residents should use a dust mask to sweep up - dust may contain contaminants.

Families needing help, or those with assistance to offer can call the one-stop assistance "shops" on 0800 779997.

Horizons' website has also had an unprecedented number of hits over the last few days. A total of 471,000 hits was recorded from Sunday to midnight Thursday. The average number of hits over the last 12 months is 32,000 hits per week. More than 6500 new visitors accessed the website.

River flow and rainfall information, all media releases, regular situation reports and clean up advice can be found on