11 Jun 2018

Govt to provide extra support in flood-stricken Tolaga Bay

5:52 pm on 11 June 2018

The government will declare damage caused by last week's heavy rain near Tolaga Bay a "medium scale adverse event".

Logs wash up on Tologa Bay beach after flooding in the area.

Logs wash up on Tologa Bay beach after flooding in the area. Photo: Photo / John Boynton

Gisborne District Council estimated it would cost at least $10 million to clean up the forestry debris strewn across roads and properties last week.

Civil Defence is monitoring major rivers in the Gisborne area as more heavy rain is due in a region still saturated from last week's weather.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had seen photos of the damage in the area and it was very significant, especially with more bad weather on its way.

"I understand that now we have a request [that] formally has come through from [the] local council there, that enables us to expedite that and I have set out my expectation with the team that we move as quickly as we can.

"That will enable us to look at support through [the Ministry of Social Development] things like Taskforce Green because as I understand particularly farmers need that assistance on the ground and we are looking for ways that we can provide that as quickly as possible."

Ms Ardern said there was also a discussion in Cabinet about the issue of forestry slash or debris.

"That's a wider issue that ministers are doing work on as we speak, and I think Minister Jones has made it really clear and rightly so that the priority has to be that we get the clean up done, but we have to look at whether we are planting the right tree in the right place."

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