Latest News & Public Notices

Weather update #17 8 Jan 12pm

08 January 2018

NZ Transport Agency has opened the Thames Coast Road between Tararu and Manaia to escorted convoys in both directions, but travelers can expect potentially long delays waiting at either end or at traffic management points in between.

Thames Coast Road 8 January 2018

(Photo: Thames Coast Rd today - 8 Jan)

If you can use an alternate route, please do, if not, please be patient, drive carefully - the road is very rough in places - pay attention to instructions from traffic management personnel, and plan for a potentially long trip.

For official updates from NZTA go to their website

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 currently running short of skip bins so are asking residents north of Te Puru (e.g. Waioumu, Tapu) to stack any flood damaged waste in front of their properties or in a central location, and we’ll collect it as soon as we can

You can dispose of flood damaged household items (e.g. carpet or furniture etc) at the Thames Refuse Station free of charge. Please supply your household address, name and vehicle registration to staff at the transfer station.

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.

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