Minister heads south to see recovery needs

Civil Defence Minister Hon Kris Faafoi is travelling to the South Island today to see the effects of former Cyclone Gita and discuss recovery with local mayors and officials.

 “Today we are assessing the damage across affected regions. The focus will be on clean-up and recovery, doing damage assessment and supporting communities and travellers who are isolated or affected.

 “The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency management is also keeping an eye on the potential for more heavy rain in South Canterbury and Otago, and the effect of this on river levels.”

 Mr Faafoi says that while there was considerable damage over the past 24 hours, good decisions were made to declare local states of emergency early.

 “This meant we have kept people safe. I do appreciate that some people may have been inconvenienced but it was great that people took steps to keep themselves and their families safe and listened to official advice.

 “There will be a time for lessons to be learned but for now we’re focused on what needs to be done for communities and business to be able to go about their lives.

 “Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups were well prepared for this event and communities also responded brilliantly.”

 Damien O’Connor, MP for West Coast Tasman, is travelling with Mr Faafoi. A further trip to see damage elsewhere may be confirmed if required.