Two volunteers who trecked through six kilometres of swollen waterways and hills to reach an isolated family on the East Coast have returned safely.
Heavy rain in East Cape had caused the Mata River to rise, isolating a pregnant woman and her two children, who were short of food and generator fuel.
A Ruatoria policeman Constable Boycie Poi and a local resident trecked cross country to reach the woman and children.
The waters reached to the pair's thighs in places and they needed to use sticks to stay upright but they say they were never in any real danger.
They arrived on Tuesday night and delivered the fuel and food before heading back to town on Wednesday.
Senior Sergeant Maui Aben, of the police in Gisborne, says their actions went above the call of duty and says arrangements will be made to evacuate the family if conditions worsen.
Police say the weather prevented a helicopter from reaching the family.