A community that is there for each other
I’m incredibly proud of our community and its response to the back-to-back weather events.
It has revealed the true character of our people and the willingness to get prepared, roll our sleeves up when needed to, and help each other out.
A heartfelt thank you to our community response teams and iwi who opened up emergency shelters, to our roading teams who continue working tirelessly to repair our local roads, and to everyone who listened to the advice and prepared for Cyclone Gabrielle.
Together we all stepped up to support our communities.
Our hearts go out to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle – and most particularly the whānau and friends of those who have lost their lives in this catastrophe. The images of widespread devastation, and the long road to recovery ahead for countless whānau and businesses certainly puts things in perspective for us.
As things begin to (hopefully) dry out, there is still plenty of mahi to do across our District to restore things.
But we must be mindful of what other regions are currently facing – 10,000 or more people displaced and in need of the very basics - and the prioritisation of materials and resources where they are most needed through the National State of Emergency.
We’re still calculating the total clean up cost, but our roading network took a large hit in recent weeks and there are still a number of roads and some infrastructure that requires attention.
The No.4 Road Bailey Bridge installation, and the assessments of Te Puna Station Road, Wairoa Road, Lund Road remain a priority and require more time before we can provide a clear picture going forward.
So, please be patient as we work quickly and efficiently to bring things back up to speed as fast as possible. Repairs will take time and have a flow on effect for other services such as maintaining our parks and reserves with mowing.
The silver lining for me was witnessing how good our community is at preparing for such events. It was great to see people taking the advice from various organisations seriously and being ready to evacuate or take in their neighbours or friends if needed.
These events, following a tough couple of years, all take a toll.
So, I encourage everyone to look after yourselves and check in on each other. Don’t be too proud to lean on the incredible support services and groups across our District, and nationwide that are there to help and guide you.
And remember, sometimes a simple phone call or kōrero with friends or whānau goes a long way.
Western Bay Mayor James Denyer