Latest News & Public Notices

Civil Defence Minister Faafoi to visit Thames Coast

08 January 2018

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi is to visit Thames, Te Puru and Kaiaua tomorrow for a briefing on weather damage and recovery activity and to visit the two of the most affected communities.

(Photo: The Thames Coast Road (SH25) is down to one lane in many sections.)

We're in the final stages of gathering and collating damage assessments and should know soon how many properties were affected.

The Thames Coast Road (SH25) between Tararu and Manaia is open to all traffic in escorted convoys travelling alternately in both directions, and travellers can expect potentially long delays.

"There are currently cordons at Thames and Manaia, at the junction of the 309 Road, where traffic can assemble for convoys which will leave approximately every 30 minutes," says NZTA.

"The convoys have been split into two, to help affected residents make their local journeys easier. The southern convoy is travelling between Thames and Te Puru, while the northern convoy is travelling from Te Puru to Manaia.

"While the road is open to all traffic, motorists are asked to defer their journey or take alternative routes if possible, so the recovery team can concentrate on repairing the road rather than managing traffic," NZTA says.

We're expecting delays to tomorrow's scheduled Kerbside rubbish collections tomorrow on the Thames Coast, so please bear with us.

How to stay up to date:

Thames Coast Rd 8 Jan

  • A new webpage has been set up to provide travel information for the journey from Thames to Manaia
  • The key traffic and travel source which provides up-to-date information on weather and road conditions nationwide is
  • Important information is also shared via the Transport Agency’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts listed here
  • You can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49) to speak to NZTA's call centre team who can provide you with traffic and travel information either before you're travelling or when you're on the road.
  • You can also stay up to date by following our Council's Facebook page

Recovery effort

Meanwhile, all Council roads around the District are open.

We are getting lots of offers for help, money and goods to support those affected by the floods. Thank you to all those offering help. We are working on getting systems in place for money and goods, and will publicise how you can contribute as soon as those systems are in place. For those offering physical help, we really appreciate it, but recommend holding off until NZTA fully reopens the road and it is safe for everyone.

We are removing the skip bins from Te Puru now. Anyone who has flood-damaged goods that didn't make the skip bins can put them on the kerbside by their property and make a Request for Service with us for their collection.

Phone us on 07 868 0200, or email or go to our website and fill in the online form at Make sure you give us your address and tell us whether you've got whiteware or not. Whiteware will be collected separately.

This collection is for flood-damaged goods only and is not an opportunity to clear out your garage. Non-flood-damaged items will not be collected.

The portaloos at Te Puru are also being removed.

Our Customer Services line - 07 868 0200 - is getting lots of calls so please be patient. If you can’t get through, stay on hold and use our callback service. Follow the instructions to leave us your number and we will call you back without you losing your place in the call queue.

Unfortunately, the BBQ at Waiomu has been damaged and turned off until it can be repaired. 

Looking after yourself

An event like this can be traumatic and it’s normal to feel stressed.

Everyone responds differently to these situations. There may be outward signs of stress, changes in behaviour, or your ability to cope or be strong for others over a long period of time. This can cause a build up of tension without realising it’s happening.

What are your immediate needs or what strategies can you put in place to support yourself and your family? For example, visit friends of the area so that you can have a break away from the storm damage – even a couple of hours will help you recharge your batteries.

Remember you are not alone. Talk to friends and family. Here’s some useful information and helpful information sheets to download:

Rural support

Farmers – if you’ve been affected by the storm, you’re not alone. The Rural Support Trust are here to help – give them a call on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254).

Septic tanks

With the weather event a number of coastal properties have suffered flooding & inundation from the sea.  As a result of this some onsite septic tank systems could have been affected in a number of ways. 

Some septic tanks & disposal fields may have been filled with a large volume of sand & debris, which will need to cleared or sucked out.  If this has occurred at your property and you are unable to adequately flush toilets or you believe it is coming the surface in your property or your neighbours, it needs addressing urgently. Please arrange for your septic tank to be cleared, (either yourself or through your insurance company).

There may also have been a number of septic tanks that were inundated by sea water.  The salt in the sea water will kill the natural bacteria that works away in your septic tanks, so they may not function correctly for a while. However, as long as your toilets can flush, this isn’t an urgent problem.  The tanks will generally sort themselves out once they are back in use.

Contaminated soil

Large volumes of sand and soil have been deposited in some locations, and many residents will be keen to move this material off their properties.  It is possible this sand and soil may be contaminated due to flooding of septic tanks (due to rainfall runoff from the ranges and sea inundation).  The contamination is likely to be fairly diluted levels due to the volume of water washing around as a result of the sea inundation. 

Residents need to exercise a common sense, but cautious approach when clearing away this material, using gloves & washing hands to avoid contamination causing illness.  The natural UV disinfection from sunlight will kill any bacteria on the ground surface, but when digging down & exposing previously covered material, a cautious approach is best.  Similarly; customers are encouraged to supervise small children to prevent exposure to contaminated sand or soil.  Using a household disinfectant for smaller areas may be an option too