Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Flood-hit Māngere households still struggling

Households in Māngere are still waiting on support from Auckland Council after major flooding hit the city. Photo: Supplied
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Local Democracy Reporting | Free Public Interest News Service

Māngere families are still living in hotels and garages more than a year on from the Auckland anniversary floods, a community advocate says.

I AM Māngere’s Toni Helleur has been working with Auckland Council to support Māngere families facing homelessness, mental health issues and ongoing damaged property.

Helleur recently told Pacific Mornings that families in Māngere are still living in hotels and garages as they wait for help.

“Māngere felt very left out when nothing happened after the floods last year in terms of a response from Auckland Council,” Helleur said.

“I think because we were an isolated area, [and] not as big as West Auckland’s recovery, Māngere has been overlooked for immediate support.”

Helleur said they have come across families who haven’t even had their homes stickered.

“Families have been through such a traumatic time that effects are only being realised now. Families have had to leave Māngere and will not return. It’s a community concern.”

House insurance issues were also affecting Māngere households, she said.

“There is a cap with some insurance companies but because a quote hasn’t been finalised with a builder, they can be afraid to agree to a payout because they don’t know how much a rebuild will cost.

“The rebuild is often more than the payout,” Helleur said.

I AM Māngere’s Toni Helleur says households in Māngere are still waiting to be stickered by Auckland Council. Photo: Supplied

Helleur said their volunteer efforts continued on the ground in Māngere.

“We hear from families directly and through the grapevine they are still struggling, we understand why they do not reach out which is why our outreach mahi is still active.”

Auckland Council is working with the Ministry of Social Development and non-government organisations to support households still recovering from the floods.

Auckland Emergency Management acting general manager Adam Maggs said the impact of the flooding was widespread.

“We didn’t just see flooding in one or two communities but spread out from the top to the bottom of the region.”

Maggs said they have improved their understanding and capability to respond to future flood events.

Auckland Council deputy recovery group manager Mace Ward said Māngere is an example of where community infrastructure projects could reduce a serious risk to life for whole neighbourhoods.

Photo: Supplied

Last month, Auckland Council Group Recovery manager Mat Tucker told councillors that the team was “a victim of our own success”.

Tucker said the team have reached a “fair number of customers” through door knocking, webinars and other outreach activities.

The Recovery team acknowledged that many Aucklanders were still doing it tough and that Government support was not reaching everyone, particularly in housing and insurance.

Auckland Council recovery group community and social recovery lead Linda Greenalgh said there were reports of “significant overcrowding” in some areas.

“People are having to move, are not in reliable housing, are living in garages and couch surfing.”

Greenalgh said the council’s Navigator tool was helping find households that needed urgent help and had been picked up by 1200 Aucklanders.

Helleur, from I AM Māngere, said the tool provided support for families, including insurance, legal services, budgeting advice, help with grant applications, temporary housing and other concerns.

“We are there to be an advocate. We will be there with you when you’re talking to someone, making sure you have the right advice.”

Local democracy reporting

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