Temporary Accommodation Service activated in further regions

The Government’s Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated to support those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods says.  

 This includes people in:

  • Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) 
  • Tairāwhiti (Gisborne) 
  • Te Moana a Toi (Bay of Plenty) 
  • Te Matau-a-Māui (Hawke’s Bay) 
  • Waikato 
  • Tararua District

“TAS is now accepting registrations from those who cannot return to their homes and need assistance finding temporary accommodation in regions affected outside of Auckland,” Megan Woods said.  

“Working closely with local authorities, TAS have been assessing the damage in affected regions, and establishing how many homes have been affected, and what the longer-term need may be. Initial estimates show between 1200 and 1800 households in Auckland alone may need temporary accommodation.

“The TAS team will work with everyone who cannot return to their homes due to Cyclone Gabrielle to find available accommodation. I urge anyone who needs their help to register their details by applying online at www.tas.mbie.govt.nz or by calling 0508 754 163. 

“The severity and close timing of these weather events means that TAS is having to stand-up its largest and fastest responses to date.  

“TAS has been scaling up, preparing and planning to meet this response but with a natural disaster of this magnitude affecting so many households and so much infrastructure, this may take time. Options for accommodation include hotels, motels, motor lodges, and portable accommodation, as happened following the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, the West Coast flooding in July 2021 and Nelson/Marlborough floods of August last year.

“As people begin to register with the service, TAS will work with households to understand their specific needs and find temporary accommodation options that suit. Our first priority is to find warm, dry and secure accommodation for people.

“TAS continues to support Aucklanders following the recent flooding event and Cyclone Gabrielle,” Megan Woods said.      

TAS is just one government service that people can access for help following natural disasters.  

“I would also urge tenants and landlords of rental properties to visit www.tenancy.govt.nz to familiarise themselves with their tenancy rights and obligations following an event like this,” says Minister Woods.   

“The Government recently launched the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service, a free service that provides residential homeowners with advice, case management support where appropriate and access to legal, technical and wellbeing services to help them achieve timely, fair and enduring resolution of their residential insurance claims resulting from natural disasters. You can contact NZCRS on 0508 624 327, email contact@nzcrs.govt.nz  or visit www.nzcrs.govt.nz.  

“This is a significant event for New Zealand, and there are many people who are profoundly affected by it with the loss of their homes or severe damage. TAS will work as quickly as it can to find appropriate accommodation for those who need it as a result of these weather events,” Megan Woods said.                         

Note to Editors:

Temporary accommodation is different to ‘shelter’ and ‘emergency accommodation’, which is provided for a short period of time by civil defence and emergency management agencies.  

Temporary accommodation is used for a short to medium term, providing households with accommodation while repairs are undertaken following a natural disaster.  Once registered, TAS aims to make contact with applicants within working 5 days.  

TAS takes into consideration a number of factors when placing households, including location, disability needs, access to schools and wider family support, and the accommodation of pets. Given the scale of this event there will be situations when suitable alternative accommodation is not immediately available.  TAS will continue to work with these households as situations change and accommodation supply becomes available. 

There is currently a huge demand on TAS supply and sometimes finding temporary accommodation for people can take some time as the team works hard to find appropriate accommodation for all of the displaced people. 

There is a cost for all temporary accommodation options. TAS matching and placement co-ordinators will work with each household that uses the service about how to meet this cost.  Some insurance policies cover rent for temporary accommodation. People who are uninsured, or have insurance policies which don’t cover temporary accommodation, may be eligible for financial assistance through MSD.  

The Temporary Accommodation Service remains active in response to the July 2021 Westport flooding, March 2022 flooding events in Tokomaru Bay, the Levin Tornado in May 2022, and the Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough flooding in August 2022, as well as the recent Auckland flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle events.