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BAY OF PLENTY REGIONAL COUNCIL TOI MOANA

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Edgecumbe Flood Volunteer Hub

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The Ngāti Awa Volunteer Army – known locally as NAVA – has completed its mission of helping Edgecumbe residents clean up their homes and properties and will now switch its attention to assisting with the rebuilding of flood-damaged homes.

A joint initiative between Ngāti Awa, Whakatāne District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, some 1500 registered volunteers contributed more than 6,800 hours of work to the NAVA clean-up effort over 11 days, from 15 to 26 April 2017. Most volunteers came from the Eastern Bay of Plenty, but people also came from around New Zealand, including a number of overseas tourists.

Ngāti Awa spokesperson for the volunteer army, Wini Geddes, says there is still much to be done in Edgecumbe and the work is now shifting focus from the removal of flood-damaged household items to the building and construction work required to make homes liveable again.

“Whakatāne Mayor Tony Bonne has asked NAVA to contribute its volunteer resources to help deliver the ‘Liveable Homes’ programme, which is designed to help people who don’t have the means to repair their flood-damaged homes,” she says. “Builders, construction workers, tradespeople and professionals from the NAVA network of ‘kaimahi aroha’ have kindly made themselves available for the ‘build and rebuild’ phase. NAVA will also focus on looking after the welfare of affected whānau while they are out of their homes.”

Volunteer updates

People still interested in offering assistance can get in touch with the Whakatane District Council by emailing info@whakatane.govt.nz or calling 07 306 0500.