12 April 2017

Members of the community are being asked to join a clean up volunteer army to lend a hand to help the flood-stricken town of Edgecumbe.

Te Runanga o Ngati Awa, Whakatane District Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council have joined forces to mobilise teams of volunteers following the flood event caused by the remains of Cyclone Debbie.

The Ngati Awa Volunteer Army (NAVA) is now inviting local whanau, members of the community and keen volunteers from anywhere to offer clean up assistance in Edgecumbe.

The main tasks for volunteers will be helping to remove silt and flood-damaged items from public land, and from private properties where landowners have given their consent.

Volunteers need to be at least 16 years old, physically fit and healthy enough to work for four hours on a shovel, and preferably with their own gumboots, wet weather gear and old clothing.

NAVA's first clean-up operation is planned for Saturday 15 April morning, weather permitting, and volunteers will be able to assist every morning from 8am to 12 noon and from 1pm to 5pm every day. Volunteers who sign up to get involved will receive emails and text messages to confirm where to go, when to meet and what to bring.

Willing volunteers will need to be able to get themselves to Te Teko to help out. All events will start with a karakia and briefing at Ruaihona Marae, and all volunteers will be invited back to the marae after their work for a meal.