Topic: Flooding

Struggle continues for Edgecumbe residents six months after flood

By Leah Te Whata
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Edgecumbe resident Lorraine Hale says her community is not satisfied by the independent report by Sir Michael Cullen into the April 7 floods and says the review hasn't answered the communities questions.

Six months have passed and the struggle continues for Edgecumbe residents.

Edgecumbe resident Lorraine Hale says, “The struggle is ongoing, some of us have only just been able to enter our homes to clean them up. The council have only just given us clearance to enter our house within the last two weeks so it's still really difficult.”

An independent review into the Edgecumbe floods has identified the lack of an evacuation plan for the town. 29 recommendations were made in the report to manage future flooding.

“If recommendations have been included in the report that must mean there were mistakes made. With 29 recommendations being given, where were these mistakes made and who made them?."

The council says the inquiry was done by a truly independent panel, but Hale says this is questionable.

“Although they are saying it was independent and Sir Michael Cullen is independent, my opinion is that he worked for the government and the council is under the government so what does the term 'independent' mean?

The inquiry failed to identify who is to blame for the damage caused by the flood, and more than 250 residents have joined a class action against the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.