Dealing with floods

Find information and resources on dealing with floods, how MPI assesses the severity of flooding and the process for classifying floods.


Outreach visits to affected farms and orchards are happening this week. Call your Rural Support Trust (0800 78 72 54) with information about your farm or to ask for help.

Flooding caused by ex-tropical cyclone

11 April 2017: The Government has today classified the flooding from ex-Cyclone Debbie in the Bay of Plenty as a medium-scale adverse event.

What's happening

MPI is working with the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) and with local Rural Support Trusts and stakeholders, including government agencies and industry bodies, to assess the impact on our rural communities.

The Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group Emergency Coordination Centre is activated and is supporting response operations in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. The Whakatane Emergency Operations Centre remains activated.

  • "In many of these areas, farmers are used to adverse weather events. In most cases, farmers have responded well to warnings and enacted plans to evacuate them and their animals." (Spokesperson Kate Hellstrom)

Several thousand cows have been safely evacuated over the past 48 hours. Animal welfare inspectors are following up calls from concerned members of the public and checking on stock.

For more information

  • Rural people are asked to contact their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) with information on the impacts on your farm, or requests for help.
  • Continue to listen to your local radio station for civil defence instructions or refer to websites.

Civil Defence website
Whakatāne District Council website

Stock and animal welfare concerns

Call 0800 32 76 46 to:

  • find out what your options are, including evacuation of stock or feed support
  • move stock and coordinate needs and offers.

Pets and companion animals

  • MPI is working with police, Civil Defence, and the SPCA to help reunite people who have been separated from their pets in the Civil Emergency zone.
  • If you're worried about lost pets due to storms and flooding in the Whakatāne region contact the Whakatāne Emergency Operations Centre on 0800 30 60 500.

After flooding – heed advice

Safety first

  • Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. Continue to listen to radio or television and do not return home until authorities indicate that it is safe to do so.
  • Stay away from damaged areas – don't put yourself at risk from contaminated water, crumbled roads, landslides and other hazards.
  • Help others if you can, especially people who may require special assistance.

Health and wellbeing

  • Throw away food and water that has been contaminated by floodwater.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
  • Many areas have a boil water notice. Check with your council or Civil Defence.

Your property

  • Look for and report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities. Treat all lines as live.
  • Take notes and photographs of damage. Lodge insurance claims as soon as possible.
  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which troughs are contaminated with silt and will need cleaning?
  • Assess damage to access lanes, tracks, gateways, culverts and fences. What clearing away of flood debris is needed?
  • Assess damage to pastures, the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other undamaged feed reserves.
  • Accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.

Financial assistance

  • Talk to your accountant, bank manager, or Work and Income NZ if the flood changes your circumstances at all.
  • Tax relief and income assistance are available to people affected by extreme weather – for example, storms, floods and droughts and natural disasters. Talk to Inland Revenue.
  • The Rural Women NZ Adverse Events and Relief Fund is available to individuals, communities and groups, with a particular emphasis on rural women and children. The fund provides financial assistance where there is an identified urgent need due to recent adverse events such as drought, fires, floods or earthquakes.
  • Take good care of yourself. Recovering from a flood is a big job. It is tough on both your body and your spirit. Learn how to recognise and care for anxiety, stress and fatigue. Call your local Rural Support Trust if you are concerned about someone's stress levels or mental wellbeing.

Rural Women NZ website  

Rural Support Trust website

Support available for other events

MPI works closely with local Rural Support Trusts and sector organisations to monitor severe storms and flooding.

Farmers affected by severe flooding should call their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 78 72 54 with information about what is happening in their area, or if they are experiencing any issues.

Find out more

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