February 27, 2023
Civil defence applauded for cyclone support
A resident of one of the worst-affected areas of the East Coast, says civil defence has been doing an epic job responding to extreme weather events.
Piripi Waretini and his whānau took shelter at a marae in Tokomaru Bay during Cyclone Gabrielle when their homestead came under threat.
He says civil defence coordinators Lillian Te Hau-Ward and Jean Takurua dealt with food and water shortages, communication and power blackouts, and road closure, while rallying local community to help themselves and their neighbours.
“There’s a resilience and a robustness about communities. We’ve got our civil defence leaders here – and they’re coordinating all those things, so to a certain extent, I guess, we just do what we need to do to survive,” Mr Waretinin says.
He says after a series of extreme weather events over the past few years, local people want a plan to get them through the worst of what’s coming.
MetService is warning a pair of tropical cyclones may form in the South Pacific over the next week.
The risk of a direct hit on New Zealand is low, but they could bring more rain and swells for eastern parts of New Zealand.