The Whakatāne District Council has confirmed that some Edgecumbe residents have been able to reoccupy their homes. While it is only a fraction of residents, the Whakatāne Mayor says it is a start.
Residents with properties in the south-eastern section of Edgecumbe reoccupied their properties this morning.
Whakatāne Mayor Tony Bonne says, "We have opened up completely to the public, the south-east end of Edgecombe which is on the eastside of the river, which is Hydro Road for those who know the area. So it's all those houses, it's only about 40 homes, so it's only a minute section of Edgecombe but it is a start."
However, some residents haven't yet been granted access to their flood-stricken abodes.
Hemana Eruera Manuera told Te Kāea, "There are groups being established to go and register so they can view the extent of damage to their homes."
With a new weather system due to hit Aotearoa later in the week, the timeline for reoccupation could be drawn out even further.
"I would like to see them all have access by Easter, but we've got a restraint with another weather system coming over the country and of course we're working very closely with Regional Council to make sure that the stop banks are capable of taking any more pressure." Says Bonne.
Meanwhile in Te Teko evacuees attended an opening for a medical center.
Manuera said that in Te Teko, "The main focus of today was to open new premises here in Te Teko to take care of the medical needs of evacuees."
Evacuees are being asked to register their details at the Civil Defence Centres at Kawerau, Whakatane or Awakeri.
Phone: 0800 306 0500