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What support is available and where can you get help

Nelson Tasman Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM)

The following information is for people in the Nelson Tasman region affected by the recent storm and flooding event.

Where to turn for help and support        

When times are tough, it is normal to feel a bit worried, frustrated or overwhelmed. As we recover, going back to basics and focussing on the thing we can control, can really help.

Top tips for looking after yourself and others can be found at:





If you or someone you know is struggling, there is free help available. Free call or text 1737 anytime, 24 hours a day. You can also call Lifeline on 0800543354 or text HELP to 4357. We all need a little help from time to time, and you don't have to go it alone.

If you have health questions, phone Healthline on 0800 611 116. Healthline is staffed by experienced registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have questions about your child or baby’s health or wellbeing, phone PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 to speak to a Plunket nurse. PlunketLine runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In an emergency, always call 111.


If you are in urgent need of food and supplies, then please contact Nelson Tasman Civil Defence and Emergency Management through your local Council:

  • Tasman District Council 03 543 8400
  • Nelson City Council 03 546 0200

Local healthcare services

Nelson Marlborough Health issued health advice and information following the event. This can be seen at:

This includes information about any boil water notices and care with food in flooded areas.

Other options

  • Emergencies: 111
  • Police non-emergencies: 105

Contact your midwife for support and advice during pregnancy and postnatal.

Remember, in an emergency, always call 111.

Pacific Support

For support please contact:

Ministry of Pacific Peoples – Christchurch Regional Office

Phone: 03 366 7202                     Email:

Financial support

Depending on your situation, Work and Income may be able to help you and your family, including for things like medical costs, bedding, food, rent, power bills, repairs or replacing appliances.

You don’t need to be on a benefit to get help, it’s also available to people on a low income. You may have to pay the money back depending on your situation.

More information: go to

Contacting Work and Income

Contact Work and Income if you:

  • would like assistance
  • aren’t sure if you can get assistance
  • are struggling to support yourself, or your family
  • would like more information.

Visit the Work and Income website or phone 0800 559 009.

Work and Income may be able to help you over the phone, without you coming into an office.

If you do need to come in, Work and Income will make an appointment and tell you what to bring.

Support available from Inland Revenue

If you’ve been impacted by the South Island Severe Weather event and are struggling to deal with your tax or payments, please contact your tax agent or accountant. If you have missed filing returns or are late on payments, you can ask Inland Revenue to grant relief from penalties.

The Inland Revenue website also has information on managing financial difficulty and debt ¾ visit or call Inland Revenue on 0800 473 566.

Support for rural communities

For initial help or updates, get in touch with your industry body:

Rural Support Trusts have local people who are trained to offer assistance and support, and their help is free and confidential. Phone 0800RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit

Farm Business Advice Support Fund

Qualifying farmers can receive up to $6,000 to seek independent financial or business advice. The Farm Business Advice Support Fund is managed by Rural Support Trusts. Banks are jointly funding the initiative. Apply through your local Rural Support Trust:

Farm Debt Mediation Scheme

Do you need help working through debt issues with your bank? The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme uses neutral and independent mediators and you can request mediation at any time. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) can also assist with the costs of mediation through the scheme’s hardship fund. For more information:

Insurance and lodging a claim

If your home, car or contents have been damaged by the severe weather, take photos before you remove or repair anything and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. Contact your insurance company and they’ll let you know what you need to do next, how to claim and – if applicable - how EQC cover works.

If you need to make your home safe, sanitary, secure and weather tight, please record the work done, take before and after photos, and keep copies of the bills you paid.

Tenancy information

If you are the tenant or landlord of a rental property, you can find information on your rights and obligations at or by phoning 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

Returning to your home after flood damage

If your home has suffered damage due to flooding, the following advice is aimed at helping you make your home habitable in the shortest possible time. 

Remember that flood waters can be contaminated. All items that come in contact with flood water should be treated with caution. Small children should be kept away during the clean-up phase.

To be habitable a house must be at least electrically safe, have a good water supply and an operative sewerage system, as well as be reasonably clean and dry.

Check your local council's website to see if there is a ‘boil water' notice in place for your area.


Before returning to your home, please ensure:

  1. That the electrical supply authority has checked that electrical installation is safe.
  2. That health, building, or plumbing inspectors from your local authority have checked the sewerage system and the water supply.
  3. If you have gas at your property, that the gas supply has been checked by an authorised technician.

When you return to your property:

  • Take photos for insurance purposes.
  • Clear out everything that is wet.
  • Get rid of any water or mud left behind.
  • Do things to encourage quick and thorough drying.  Quick drying is important. Don’t be afraid to cut out material–it can be repaired. 
  • Repairs and redecorating should be carried out only when the structure of the house is dry enough. Do not rush this work. Wait until the house is fit to live in and thoroughly dry.

In most cases it will take months, rather than weeks, to completely restore your home after it has been damaged by flood water. 

A NOTE ON INSURANCE: In all cases approach your insurance company prior to disposing of any goods or carrying out any restoration on your house. If an agreement cannot be reached with the insurance company in this matter, guidance can be sought by an environmental health officer at your local Council.

CHECKING FOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE - has the house moved? Look for:

  • Buckled floors
  • New cracks in walls
  • Out of shape door frames.

Cleaning inside homes which have been flooded

It may not be safe to return home even when the floodwaters have receded. Only return home after Civil Defence and emergency services have told you it is safe to do so.

Always wear protective gear when cleaning up after a flood, including gloves and masks, in case you’re exposed to hazardous material. Wash your hands thoroughly after each clean-up session and before handling food

  • Blankets, sheets, drapes, clothing, etc, which can be boiled can be re-used. Materials of this nature which cannot be boiled, should be thoroughly washed with the use of disinfectant. Other such articles of value can be restored by dry-cleaning.
  • Pillows, mattresses (flock, kapok, inner sprung and foam rubber mattresses) as well as soft upholstered furnishings, should be discarded. Shoes should also be discarded
  • Carpets and rugs should be discarded.
  • Furniture that is absorbent, such as wood, should be discarded
  • Vinyl on concrete that shows lifting or damage at the joins or coving must be discarded.  Vinyl on wooden flooring must also be discarded
  • Soft toys must be discarded, as must plastic or metal toys that cannot be cleaned effectively
  • Electrical appliances such as refrigerators, deep freezers, electrical heaters, etc, should be checked by an electrician before using.
  • Frozen foodstuffs which have thawed should be discarded. Any food stuff which is not in a waterproof container and has been covered with flood water should also be discarded. Foodstuffs contained in bottles and jars with crown caps that have been under flood water should also be discarded.
  • Food in freezers can only be retained if it has not thawed, has not been in contact with flood water and an alternative storage can be found, otherwise it should be discarded.

Removing flood debris, waste disposal and burning

As floodwaters recede, many residents, farmers and lifestyle block owners are dealing with debris left on their property as well as with their own possessions damaged by the flood.

To aid with disposal, sort your waste into separate piles for removal – one for domestic/household waste, and others for material such as fenceposts, trees and other green waste, and plastic baleage wrap. Please check with your local council if they have special arrangements for collection and disposal of debris from the flood.

Rules for burning green waste, and flood-related exemptions

You CAN burn trees and other green waste, provided you meet these requirements:

  • Stockpile the green waste and only burn it when it is dry
  • You check with the Tasman District Council – of Nelson City Council
  • Properties over 2ha in size in a clean air zone may only burn between 1 September and 30 April
  • Check that Fire and Emergency does not have any burning restrictions in place, see

Any properties under 2 ha in size within a clean air zone should contact Tasman District Council (03 543 8400) or Nelson City Council (03 546 0200), so staff can assist in planning how flood debris might be burned as an exception.

Do not burn

Treated fenceposts and baleage wrap should NOT be burned.

  • Fencing materials that cannot be reused or recycled can be buried on-farm or taken to your local council’s transfer station.
  • Silage wrap should be collected for recycling (e.g. Plasback) or taken to your local council’s transfer station disposal.

Keeping children safe

If you’re worried that a child or young person you know is not safe or being cared for, or you know a child who has been separated from their parents or caregivers you can phone Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or email  

Animal welfare

Animal welfare concerns

Phone the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 008 333 to log any animal welfare concerns. MPI will follow up on animal welfare calls.

Veterinary services

If your animals need veterinary treatment, contact your own veterinary clinic, or find one nearby via the New Zealand Veterinary Association website on


For requests for assistance with livestock, lifestyle blocks or feed phone Federated Farmers on 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646).

For further information on animal welfare or access to animals please refer to your local Civil Defence Emergency Management website


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has support available if you need help sourcing supplementary feed or grazing for your livestock.


The Feed Coordination Service connects farmers with surplus feed (such as hay, silage, or grazing) to farmers who need it. Lifestylers can also access this service.


The Feed Planning Service connects farmers with an industry expert. We can help you do a ‘snapshot feed plan’ in 20 minutes. Getting a plan in place can help give you peace of mind.

To access feed support, call 0800 FARMING or 0800 327 646 and follow the voice prompts. Alternatively, you can visit

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