Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Māngere residents stuck in waiting game after flood forces them from homes

Tuakana Tauiti in front of his yellow stickered home in Māngere’s Pito Place. He had to leave the property in the middle of the night at the height of the flooding on January 27 with his partner and four grandchildren. Photo: Stephen Forbes / Stuff
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Local Democracy Reporting | Free Public Interest News Service

Māngere residents hit by Auckland’s devastating floods are in limbo waiting for an update on their homes.

Tuakana Tauiti is currently staying in a hotel while he waits for the word when he can move back into his Kāinga Ora property in Pito Place, which was yellow stickered during the floods.

The sticker on the front door says the property has damage to its electrics, flooring and wall linings. It means he has restricted access to the place he and his family have called home for the past 39 years.

Tauiti has a prosthetic leg and had to leave the property in the middle of the night at the height of the flooding on January 27 with his partner and four grandchildren.

“By the time we got out of the house the water was up to my neck.”

Tauiti said everything from beds and household appliances to precious family photos were all destroyed in the flood.

Residents in Ventura St have been cleaning up this week, dumping their belongings destroyed in last Friday’s flooding. Photo: Iain Mcgregor /Stuff

He was uninsured and has been returning to his home every day since trying to salvage what he can.

Tauiti said he’d been in touch with Kāinga Ora and was now just waiting to hear when he could return.

Fellow Pito Place resident Teina Tutai said she had to put everything she was able to salvage in storage.

She estimated she had lost $80,000 in appliances and household items.

Tutai said she had been told by Kāinga Ora that it could be up to two months before she could move in again.

“I just want to get on with my life,” she said.

However, she said she was aware of the pressure on the state housing agency as it responded to thousands of its affected tenants.

The yellow sticker on the front of a Pito Place home outlining the damage to the property caused by the flooding on January 27. Photo: Stephen Forbes / Stuff

Kāinga Ora deputy chief executive for Auckland and Northland Caroline Butterworth said 530 of its properties across the region were damaged in the flooding on January 27.

That included 137 yellow stickered and four red stickered homes.

“Because of the number of homes throughout Auckland that have been damaged by the floods, we need to prioritise repairs based on both the damage to the home and needs of the whānau,” she said.

“We are working hard to repair affected homes and we will get to everyone whose home has been damaged by flooding.”

Butterworth said at this stage Kāinga Ora didn’t have a total cost for the damage to its properties.

“There are still a large number of detailed assessments to do so it is too early to estimate the cost of damage, but it will be fairly substantial, given the number of homes impacted.”

She was keen to reassure affected tenants that if their properties couldn’t be repaired, they would get another property.

“Given the extent of damage, it makes sense to move families to a newly vacated or newly built home, rather than make them wait for their current home to be repaired.”

Local democracy reporting

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