10 Apr 2017

PM: Edgecumbe will need ongoing support

From Morning Report, 7:52 am on 10 April 2017


The Prime Minister Bill English says Edgecumbe's businesses and residents will need ongoing support.

 Bill English in Edgecumbe

Bill English in Edgecumbe Photo: RNZ / Zac Fleming

Mr English says the government was discussing a support package, with more details to be released in the coming days.

"We know from previous disasters we have dealt with that good generous support early on gives people a sense of confidence that they are not on their own, and it helps them deal with the many complicated issues that arise."

Earlier, the Whakatane District mayor Tony Bonne told Morning Report an economic rescue package similar to that given to Kaikoura is needed to help Edgecumbe recover from its devastating flood.

Mr Bonne says his staff are talking to Government agencies about help with accommodation for displaced residents and support for businesses.

The Bay of Plenty town was hit by a wall of water after a stopbank on the Rangitāiki River burst on Thursday, flooding the town and forcing its 1600 residents to flee.

Four days after they fled the floodwaters residents of 46 properties in the south east of the town, who were all unaffected by flooding, were allowed through the cordon.

The team working to clear Edgecumbe of its water think all but the very lowest water will be out within three days.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council Duty Flood Manager, Pete Blackwood, says they're trying hard to get the water out of the town - 20 extra pumps were working yesterday as they try to drain the water away before more rain arrives. 



The Prime Minister also told Morning Report it is unlikely New Zealand will commit troops to support the United States in any further retaliatory action against Syria.

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Photo: AFP

Bill English says there's no indication this country will get asked to contribute and if it is, the government will consider the request but would be cautious about committing resources.