Napier community steps up to help vulnerable after disastrous flooding throughout region

The new Minister of Emergency Management says she is hugely impressed with how Napier residents have stepped up to support each other in the wake of disastrous flooding throughout the region.

Kiri Allan arrived in Napier on Wednesday morning - just over a week after she was handed the portfolio by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The newly-minted Minister told The AM Show the response from the community has been amazing. 

"Volunteer after volunteer from all these different organisations have put down the tools and just come out to help these families in crisis and I'm just always a little bit proud of how New Zealanders respond," she said 

One of these volunteers was Riza Ambadar, owner of Restaurant Indonesia Napier NZ. He was up through the night making more than 250 meals for affected residents. 

He told The AM Show the situation is "overwhelming".

"We wouldn't be able to do it without the help of people offering to deliver [the meals]."

A local community page has lit up with people volunteering to help those in need from delivering food, to offering help with cleaning up flooded homes. 

Torrential rain in Napier has caused severe flooding, the likes of which have not been seen in the region for decades.

The floods have closed schools, left hundreds without power, and forced dozens out of their homes as waters rose and hillsides fell away.

The rain is expected to ease on Wednesday and give way to warmer, drier weather. But the flooding is expected to have long-lasting consequences - enough that the Government has contributed $100,000 to a relief fund to aid with the cleanup.

"It is still too early to understand the full cost of the damage from this massive downpour, but it is significant," said Allan.

"This year has been one out of the box and this is yet another challenge for this community. However it's been absolutely incredible to see how they have responded and pulled together to help each other over the last few days."