9 May 2009

All Napier evacuees found accommodation - Civil Defence

8:40 am on 9 May 2009

Civil Defence in Napier is denying rumours that residents evacuated because of the police siege are having to sleep in a temporary welfare centre set up at a local school.

An armed standoff was continuing at the property of Jan Molenaar following the shooting of Senior Constable Len Snee, 53, and three other people.

Civil defence manager Angela Read says since the siege in the suburb of Hospital Hill began on Thursday, they have relocated 201 people, including 19 children, to hotels and motels across the city.

She said some evacuees were found accommodation within an hour of arriving at the welfare centre at Napier Intermediate School, and none have slept at the school.

Community Constable Bruce Miller, 40, police dog handler Senior Constable Grant Diver, 50, and a man suffered gunshot wounds and are in Hawke's Bay hospital.

Mr Miller and the man remain in a critical condition. Mr Diver is in a serious but stable condition.

Police entered the property just after 5pm on Friday and recovered Mr Snee's body from the driveway. Mr Molenaar, 51, remains in the house.

Eastern district commander Superintendent Sam Hoyle says he can assure the public that everything is being done to ensure community safety.

Police say they have evacuated everyone who may be in the direct line of fire, but a number of people outside the immediate vicinity are still trapped in their homes.

Parts of Napier on the flat and on the hill remain cordoned off on Saturday morning. Hundreds of people are still not allowed to return to their homes, instead having to stay with friends, family or in a motel.

Accommodation for evacuated residents

Napier Civil Defence controller Dennis Morgan says they will continue to accommodate people evacuated from the Hospital Hill area.

Mr Morgan says evacuees should try to stay with family and friends where possible. However, if people need accommodation, they should register at the welfare centre at Napier Intermediate School in Jull Street as early as possible.

Mr Morgan says clothing and toiletries are being organised for people who cannot get to their homes. The Salvation Army is providing food supplies.

Napier City Council says its animal control will pick up any animals roaming on the periphery of the cordoned area. However, the unit will not collect pets from inside that zone.