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Storm Impact - Critical updates

This page contains information and updates about the July 2020 storm, and advice about flood damage repairs.
Updated: 4/08/2020 1:59 p.m.

Flood damage repair information 

A large number of businesses, properties, homes and other buildings were affected by flooding and slips in 17 July.

Our inspectors have visited 65 properties, four of which have been evacuated.  We expect more calls to come in from residents/property owners concerned about the structure of their properties. 

If y​our home or property was damaged by the storm on July 17-18 you can make a claim to EQC. Home contents are covered by your house insurers and we suggest you get in touch with them directly to discuss your options.​

A week later the clean-up is well under way, and our teams have pulled together some advice for people facing building repairs. General advice for people whose homes were flooded or properties damaged:

  • Contact your insurer or broker as soon as possible to start the claims process
  • Take photos of any damage and note details of valuable items. It will help speed up assessments of your claims
  • Get essential services repaired and keep copies of invoices
  • If your home has been flooded you will need to get a registered electrician to check your wiring
  • Regard all water as being contaminated as it may have high levels of bacteria.
  • Carpet or furniture that has been flooded it may need to be disinfected.
  • Make your home safe and sanitary but speak to your insurer before carrying out non-essential repairs

Earthquake Commission NZ

Insurance Council tips for the Northland Flood 

Building conse​nt exemptions for repairs

Some building work done to repair flood damage can be "exempt" from a building consent. 

That means it can be done without having to apply for a building consent, but it does require an exemption to be applied for. An exemption costs $358 including GST.

An exemption helps to make sure the the right record is kept by Council that the right repair was done, in the right way, by the right person. 

The exemption provides everyone involved with the repairs with some degree of protection and protects the future resale value of properties.

We strongly recommend that property owners, including insurers undertaking flood damage repairs, obtain an exemption from a building consent before starting repairs. 

Exemption Process

When flood damage occurs it can be recorded in the property file for the address. 

When repairs to the damage mainly requre dry wall bracing elements, correct moisture levels of framing timber and checking structural fixings before linings are reinstated and wet area water proofing is reinstated, an exemption from a building consent can be applied for. 

When owners apply for an exemption for their repair work, Council makes sure that an exemption is granted (if possible) and, once the work is done, that there is a record that the work has been completed properly.

The licenced building practitioner (LBP) who did the work has to provide a record of work (RoW) to Council for so it can be signed off. The job will then be closed. 

If electrical inspection or work is completed a certificate of compliance (CoC) will also need to be supplied. 

Property owner exemptions

Some owners may want to undertake the reinstatement work themselves. 

As a homeowner they must still meet the provisions of the building code and that this responsibility sits with them. 

They will need to provide sufficient information to attain an exemption and provide a declaration or statement that it complies with the building code. 

Property owner tips

Assessing water damaged GIB board


Thank you for your efforts to save water. Along with repairs to our two affected water treatment plants, the effort by community and Council to restore full water-supply has been successful and extraordinary measures are no longer needed.

The extreme weather caused three sewage breaks which meant sewage entered the harbour.

All residents should avoid shellfish collection in the Whangarei Harbour until further notice.


All roads are now open, with some advising caution and some restricted to a single lane. Thank you for your patience as roads are repaired.

Council Services

Forum North Customer Service Centre remains closed until further notice, with repairs including carpet-replacement under way.

If you need to see someone on an urgent matter, please use the two ‘Urgent Services” desks operating from the Central Library.

There will be one cashier at the Old Café in Forum North, but expect queues.

If you are seeking to make a payment, please feel free to explore our online options or to ring our call centre on 09 430 4200.

People wanting to pay their dog registrations can do this at Armourguard, 115 Kioreroa Road (EFTPOS payments only).

Walking tracks

Whangarei's walking tracks have been hard hit by the extreme weather event that swept through the District on the night of July 17-18.

The intense rainfall caused slips and washouts and many tracks remain closed while repairs are being made.

Whangarei District Council Parks Manager Sue Hodge says the weather event caused considerable damage to tracks in the Parihaka Scenic Reserve, the AH Reed Kauri Park and the Coronation Reserve in Western Hills.

"Unfortunately, it is going to take some time to repair the damage and make the tracks safe for walkers to use them again."

Mrs Hodge says damage to the popular walking tracks is a combination of metal washed off the surface, larger land sips that have covered the tracks or tracks have slipped down the hill side.

"The intensity of the rain was unprecedented. The track's drainage channels just couldn't cope."

She says both the Drummond Track and Ross Track to the Parihaka summit remain closed and some of the repair work is expected to take about two months to complete. The Dobbie Track to the summit from Mair Park is now open.

"The Parihaka summit car park is closed as a major slip has covered the access track to the summit. The Parihaka mountain bike tracks have been hit badly and the mountain bike club are working with a local contractor to get these open as soon as they can."

The Hatea Walkway, which links the Town Basin, Mair Park, AH Reed Kauri Park and Whangarei Falls, is also closed for at least the next month due to track damage. The Mackesy Bush Track and Mair Park Homestead Track are closed for at least another fortnight.

In the Coronation Reserve there are serious slips on the Frank Holman and Selwyn Ave Link tracks that will take about four months to repair. There are minor slips in the Quarry Garden Link track and this is expected to be open in around one month.

At the AH Reid Kauri Park, a bridge was washed out on the Alexander Track, and this track is expected to be closed for about four months. The McKinnon Track is expected to be closed for four weeks.

The Sands Rd track between Sands Rd and Claphams Rd is likely to be closed for a further two months.

The weather event also caused slips on the Whananaki Coastal walk and this will be closed until further notice. 

Other closures

The carpark and public toilets near the summit and lookout of Parihaka are also closed.

The Botanica gardens are open again now.




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