You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

More help for Edgecumbe

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/04/2017

Senior cabinet minister Anne Tolley is in charge of overseeing the government's assistance for Edgecumbe's flood-stricken residents.

Prime Minister Bill English announced on Monday she would be the lead minister in the government's team that's looking at assistance such as temporary accommodation, bedding and clothing.

He said the government was also going to make sure residents were given as much information as possible about the recovery process.

Mrs. Tolley, who was with Mr English at his post-cabinet press conference, said the situation still had to be properly assessed, and there was no quick fix.

She said shoring up the stop bank that was breached during the storm was a priority as more heavy rain was forecast for later this week.

"They're working on it continually but they're not 100 per cent confident it can stand up to the heavy rain forecast for later this week," she said.

Mr English said the full extent of the damage wouldn't be known until the water level dropped, but he gave an assurance the government could foot whatever bills were coming up.

"We don't want to be shelling out billions for natural disasters but when they happen, we can pay," he said.

Neither Mr English nor Mrs Tolley could say when people would be able to return to their homes.

Mr English said some should be able to go back to their homes "shortly" but the full picture was still unfolding.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon