Ministers ferry supplies to Golden Bay

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Contractors work to clear a slip at the bottom of the Takaka Hill, on State highway 60, in the Tasman district. PICTURE: New Zealand Herald

Wellington
Medical supplies have been picked up in Nelson and flown to Golden Bay in the helicopter taking two cabinet ministers around parts of the upper South Island hit by former cyclone Gita.
The supplies went to the clinic in Golden Bay, which was running short because the storm has cut the Takaka Hill Road.
Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi and Primary Industries Minister Damien O’Connor flew in yesterday to assess damage in the region and talk to local civil defence controllers.
They also met Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorn and Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese.
The local civil defence controllers told the ministers Takaka was not as badly hit as they had anticipated but the Takaka Hill Road was likely to be closed for several days.
There were huge slips and mudslides on the road that links Nelson and Takaka.
The closure has left about 6000 Golden Bay residents cut off from the rest of the country.
Civil defence says it has arranged for a delivery of food and essential supplies by barge to Port Tarakohe.
Mr O’Connor, who is the West Coast-Tasman MP, said vineyards would be hard hit because they were close to harvesting.
In the Riwaka area, vineyards are under water.
Widespread flooding hit the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington, where six homes were evacuated as the clean-up continued.
The overnight heavy rain and high tide hit low lying areas about Paraparaumu beach and Raumati South, overwhelming stormwater drains, Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Gareth Hughes said.
This led to flooding and residents from the evacuated homes going to stay with friends and relatives, he said.
Residents in 26,000 properties in eastern New Plymouth and towns to the east were boiling their drinking water after strong winds brought down a tree that destroyed one of the biggest pipes from the city’s water treatment plant.
More than 5500 customers in Taranaki and the Whanganui regions were without power as provider Powerco says it has ramped up efforts to restore electricity by putting 200 workers on the job.
At the height of the storm, 26,000 customers were without power. NZN