Welfare centres busy with a growing number of people needing shelter or donations

Welfare centres have been kept busy with a growing number of people needing shelter or donations.

In some cases, they've been set up by local volunteers who are working round the clock to keep their community safe and dry.

For at least 40 people in west Auckland -  including a four-month-old baby - this was home last night.

The Civil Defence Centre at Saint Leonard's School is one of three official hubs set up in Auckland along with several other community-led ones.

"We've still got families coming forward that have been displaced," said Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni.

Henderson resident Taimoe Silimuna has been here for two nights. She said her home is like a swimming pool and, on top of that, she lost her car to the floods.

"My situation at the moment, I'm still waiting for accommodation. Hopefully they will get something for me," she said.

Amanda Burton doesn't just have her whānau to worry about, but her pets too.

"We had to bring our birds and that. The pollution of the water was just so bad. They pulled up all our carpets, and we could not have anyone go back to the place again," she said.

For the next seven nights, a motel has been organised for her to stay in.

"I have a high-needs son that needs full attention. He's managed well for the two days he's spent here - the people have been lovely," Burton said.

But some people say they're still seeking that support. Rahul Prasaud spent Friday night in his car and the last two days at this welfare centre. These clothes aren't his and he's been left wondering where to from here.

"I can stay seven days and then find out something to live in," he said. "I don't know - maybe go on the road?"

The centre has received countless donations from the community. But he said the magnitude of his loss is too great to be comforted by that.

"Everything is gone… I got no insurance," Prasaud said. "I don't know what to do. It's very hard."

In Māngere, while no one stayed overnight, 200 came through the doors on Sunday needing assistance.

Volunteers have been working around the clock to help out. One centre here has received hundreds of donations - whether it is clothes, towels, pillows or shoes.

But just as quickly as those donations are coming through the door, they're going back out again.

Councillors and local board members rallied to set up the centre after a lack of official assistance in the suburb.

"Having this face-to-face contact has worked wonders," Local Board chair Tauanu'u Nanai Nick Bakulich said.

For a community that so desperately needs it.