In late January 2023, Salu and her family’s Kāinga Ora home was badly damaged in the Auckland Anniversary flooding. The family lost most of their belongings and had to move into temporary accommodation.

But with repairs complete and extensive renovations done, the family were able to move back into their home in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga just before Christmas.

“It was beautiful, especially just before Christmas,” says Salu. “We love being in our own home again and we’re so grateful to have it liveable and looking so good. The children are so much happier now; they’re relaxed, and they feel safe again.”

The dedicated Auckland flood recovery team had overseen a full renovation of the home to make it safe and comfortable. The damaged wall linings and flooring were replaced, the electrics checked and repaired, and the kitchen replaced. Extensive drainage works have also been done to reduce the risk of flooding in the future.

The family has also received a delivery of furniture and whiteware to replace items lost in the floods, thanks to a partnership between Kāinga Ora and New Zealand Red Cross.

Kāinga Ora Deputy Chief Executive for Auckland and Northland, Caroline Butterworth says that while private insurers offer contents insurance, “we are aware that insurance may be an expense customers don’t always feel they can afford. That is why we have worked hard since the floods to try to connect customers who lost belongings with organisations that are set up to provide that type of support.

“One of the things we have done is partner with New Zealand Red Cross to provide home package essentials for those customers who lost personal possessions. The packages include essential furniture and household items for bathroom, kitchen, dining, living and bedroom areas. These packages have been prioritised for customers who have no other means of replacing or sourcing these items.’’

New Zealand Red Cross also gave the family $1000 worth of vouchers from The Warehouse.

“It felt like an early visit from Santa!” says Salu. “It was so nice to be able to buy the children the clothes they needed plus a few treats for Christmas. They’d lost all their presents from last Christmas in the flood.

Salu says the family can now look forward to the future, secure in their home again. She says the process has been made easier by the support from both New Zealand Red Cross and the flood recovery team at Kāinga Ora.

“They have walked alongside us from when the flood happened, keeping us informed and helping us stay sane during stressful moments. Even now we’re home, the team is in touch to ensure we have what we need.”

In the weeks after the floods, Kāinga Ora staff did thousands of welfare checks by phone and in person to check on the wellbeing of customers.

A dedicated team of 10 housing support managers stayed in touch with affected customers as they moved or worked around repairs.

Dozens of partner agencies provided aid to customers, from replacement bedding and furniture to somewhere to wash clothes.

We are also grateful to the hard work of dozens of tradespeople who have managed to repair nearly all our damaged homes to a safe, dry standard. By the end of January 2024, we will have completed repairs on all our homes assessed as repairable.

We have permanently rehoused 243 customers.

Media Contact

Page updated: 29 January 2024