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Flooding at Auckland’s Victoria Road New World (Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)
Flooding at Auckland’s Victoria Road New World (Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)

SocietyJanuary 27, 2023

Auckland state of emergency: What you need to know

Flooding at Auckland’s Victoria Road New World (Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)
Flooding at Auckland’s Victoria Road New World (Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)

A state of emergency has been declared in Auckland as severe weather causes major flooding across much of the city. 

This post was last updated at 8.48pm on Sunday, January 29 with advice for renters 

What does a state of emergency mean? 

A state of emergency is called when an event or happening occurs that may cause injury or loss of life to New Zealanders and that can’t be dealt with adequately by routine emergency services.

A state of local emergency provides access to powers that would not normally be available. In this instance, Auckland Emergency Management (AEM) is now able to make calls that override usual decision-making processes. Here is the official advice from AEM.

If your life is at risk, call 111

Emergency services are responding to hundreds of calls due to the floods. If you are in immediate danger, call 111, otherwise…

Stay home if you can

Emergency management is urging all residents to stay home if it is safe to do so. If you need to evacuate your home due to flooding and/or damage, please look to stay with family and friends in the first instance.

Evacuation centres

If you need to evacuate and have nowhere else to go, Auckland Emergency Management has opened three Civil Defence Centres to assist those that have been displaced or need assistance following today’s severe weather. The centres are open now.

  • Saint Leonards Road School, 15 St. Leonards Road, Kelston.
  • Massey University’s Albany Campus in the Sir Neil Walters Lecture Theatre (enter through Gate 1 of the Massey University East Precinct, Albany Highway SH17)
  • Manu Tukutuku, 32 Riverton Drive, Randwick Park

Do not drive through floodwaters

Pretty self-explanatory. Police urge motorists in Auckland to avoid non-essential travel, however if you cannot delay travel, please take care when travelling through water-logged roads.

Never try to walk or swim through flood water. If you are having to wade through floodwaters, keep in mind it may contain sewage so try and get clean as soon as you can, wash your hands and and wash your clothes when you can.

In case of evacuation

If you do need to evacuate, remember to take essential items, like medicines, warm clothing or baby items with you.

Don’t forget pet stuff once you’ve sorted yourself out

If you have to leave, try and take your pets with you. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for them. Take water, food, poo bags, carry cages, leads and some plastic containers for eating and drinking out of.

Check in on your loved ones

If you are able, phone or message your loved ones to check that they are OK, especially those who live alone. If they need assistance, pass on the above information.

If you need financial assistance to meet immediate needs

People will be eligible for Civil Defence payments and can call the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 400 100 from 7am.

If you are renting

Renters United has published relevant information for those whose are renting and need to know what to do if their flat is completely uninhabitable, partially uninhabitable or damaged. More here.

Cleaning up

With the rain easing for a moment, many will be beginning the arduous task of cleaning out their flooded property. Auckland council has released advice for cleaning up after a flood.

It is important to clean and dry your house and everything in it. Floodwater may contain sewage and other hazardous materials which can contaminate your home.

  • If your gas meter has been affected by water or debris, contact your gas supplier.
  • Always work safely when cleaning up after a flood by wearing protective clothing and washing hands thoroughly after clean-up and before handling food.
  • Keep children and animals away from previously flooded areas until they have been cleaned and made safe.
  • Take photos and videos of the damage and anything that needs to be thrown away before starting the clean-up, for insurance purposes.
  • Clean up, drain, and dry inside as quickly as possible. Take out everything that is wet and that can be moved – floor coverings, furniture, bedding, clothing, etc., and put them outside to dry when the weather is fine.
  • Throw away all food and drinking water that has come in contact with floodwater, including things stored in containers.
  • Do not eat garden produce if the soil has been flooded. Clean up and remove debris and sprinkle gardens with lime (which can be purchased at garden centres).

Helpful follows

Auckland MPs and councillors are doing a good job of sharing information as it comes to hand (and without more structured channels in place for information distribution). If you’re more likely to be on social media than on this website, consider following your local representatives and the emergency services for updates, including but not limited to:

Auckland Emergency Management

Chlöe Swarbrick – Auckland Central MP

Michael Woods – Mt Roskill MP and minister of transport

Richard Hills – Councillor, North Shore

Josephine Bartley – Councillor, South Auckland

Keep going!