30 Apr 2018

Homes uninhabitable after Bay of Plenty flooding

3:36 pm on 30 April 2018

At least 20 houses near Rotorua could be uninhabitable after severe flooding in Bay of Plenty yesterday, Rotorua civil defence says.

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Photo: Supplied

About 30 houses in Ngongotaha were evacuated after the Ngongotaha Stream overflowed.

Rotorua and the surrounding district received more than 1.5 times the normal total April rainfall in just 38 hours over the weekend.

Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi toured the worst affected areas around Ngongotaha today.

He promised to take a letter from Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick to the government, seeking a financial contribution to a mayoral support fund for flood victims.

The government would look favourably on the request, he said.

District farmer Neil Heather said he still couldn't access much of his property after yesterday's flooding.

The Ngongotaha Stream runs through part of Mr Heather's sheep and beef farm in Paradise Valley and had flooded many of his paddocks.

He said he would have a lot to clean up after bridges and fences were damaged, but he did not think he had lost any livestock.

"[My] family has been here nearly 100 years and we've only once see it [the river] like this, as high as this, so it was pretty scary.

"[My] bridges are out and [there's] water through the wool shed but it's not as bad as the neighbours down the road ... who had a metre of water go through their house," he said.

Mr Heather took his tractor to help his neighbours yesterday but the rapidly rising river meant he ended up having to be rescued himself, he said.

"I took [a tractor] down to help the neighbours and the river came up within about five minutes, came up about a metre and submerged the tractor.

"So then we had to be rescued off the roof of a tractor, which was a bit embarrassing," he said.

MetService said there were a few light showers overnight and more were expected today, particularly in the afternoon. There was also a chance some would be heavy, but nothing like yesterday's downpours.

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Photo: Supplied

South Canterbury was also lashed with rain over the weekend.

Tom Hargreaves' family-owned Angus beef stud farm just south of Geraldine received 160mm of rain in 36 hours.

Water running through Tom Hargreaves' Angus stud farm south of Geraldine, South Canterbury.

Water running through Tom Hargreaves' Angus stud farm south of Geraldine, South Canterbury. Photo: Supplied / Tom Hargreaves

Mr Hargreaves said they would have to adjust feeding plans for the cattle because of the wet weather.

"They'll go through the feed quicker than budgeted for, so everything will need moving on to fresh paddocks and trouble is they're all so wet too so they'll end up being muddied up earlier than anticipated.

"So that'll just mean moving them on [through paddocks] a lot more quickly and going through the feed quicker," he said.

Mr Hargreaves said he was still assessing the damage on his farm, but there was a five km stretch of river running through his farm and it was very likely the fencing around it would need fixing.

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