March 08, 2023
Trauma cost of Tairawhiti flooding
East Coast MP Kiritapu Allan says people in her electorate are exhausted after three weeks of working around the clock to clean up the massive damage done by Cyclone Gabrielle.
She says it has left deep trauma for many, such as the 500 people in Te Karaka who fled to nearby hills when their homes were inundated.
“As one of the nannies said to me, she had been diagnosed with cancer not that long ago, she said ‘that feels like nothing compared to losing your home. The cancer, that’s just about me. The homestead, that’s the place where I’ve raised my children, that’s our family’s lwegacy,’ and you’re hearing that korero hundreds of times a day,” Ms Allan says.
She says recovery could take years, but there is strong leadership in the region from iwi, councils and in sector groups like agriculture and horticulture who have lived through crises before.