THE BIG FLOOD - Feb, 2004

NOTE:  In normal circumstances TWM prefers constructive application of WM but while Pakeha institutional and collective racism exists the only alternative to docile subservience for Maori is "full spectrum dominance."
BACKGROUND on Race relations in Aotearoa-NZ below.


FLOOD IMAGES click here.

Remember what TWM said six months ago?
See NIWA's summary for February 2004.
Landslides caused by the Floods -
Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences.
Updates on the Big Flood - click here.
Subsequent major floods:

MetService Issues Narrative of the Big Storm
Scoop Wednesday, 18 February 2004 [Abridged]
Flooding hit Wellington, Wairarapa, Manawatu and Rangitikei areas hard early this week. This narrative article from MetService Weather Ambassador Bob McDavitt gives a sequential account of the main events leading to flooding.
Fri 6 - Sat 7 Feb:  Waitangi Day marked the last period of mainly dry weather over New Zealand from an anticyclone or high pressure system. As this high moved away a change in pattern occurred towards unsettled weather.
Sun 8 - Tue 10 Feb: A vigorous front moved onto the South Island from the Tasman Sea. MetService issued heavy rain warnings for the Southern Alps and severe wind warnings for Wellington and eastern areas from southern Wairarapa to Southland. 
Wed 11 Feb - The front stalled over central New Zealand. MetService issued a heavy rain warning for the Tararua and Ruahine ranges, and extended this to cover the headwaters of the Whanganui River and Mount Taranaki.
Thu 12 Feb - Computer models started to agree in highlighting the possibilities of a low pressure system deepening over the North Island during the coming weekend. Because of changes in the upper-air flow New Zealand was becoming an area where low pressure system were likely to deepen. Models did not have the same detail, but there is sufficient data for the severe weather outlook chart,updated daily on the MetService website, to go for areas of heavy rain and severe gales around the North Island. [...]
COMMENT: While the media focussed on the melee involving Pakeha politicians and Maori activists at Waitangi, TWM was quietly preparing its own protest "event".
Storm havoc in North Island
nzoom Feb 15, 2004
Many homes in New Plymouth were without power on Saturday night following a lightening strike... Earlier in the day, high winds uprooted trees, toppled power poles and caused havoc for motorists in the North Island... Lines company PowerCo says at the peak of the storm, 5000 of its consumers were without power, mainly in Taranaki, Wanganui and the Manawatu... Another front hit the North Island on Saturday night... Gales are also expected to lash parts of the lower North Island on Sunday... strong, cold southerlies are forecast for Wellington and Wairarapa, and could reach more than a hundred kilometres an hour in exposed parts.
Severe storm forces evacuations
nzoom Feb 16, 2004
Torrential rain and high winds across the North Island have forced two towns to be evacuated as downed trees wreak havoc for travellers. Around 300 people in the towns of Feilding and Marton, north of Palmerston North, were forced to flee their homes with some locals describing the storm as the worst in living memory...
Rain also hit the Wellington area with a large number of trees and power poles down... Police said it was the worst flooding they had seen in 10 years. Power lines company Vector says power was cut off to about 2000 people in the Wellington region as a result of downed power lines... Emergency services evacuated some people from the Hutt Valley as rising waters flooded their homes. [...]
Winter makes early and violent visit 
NZ Herald Monday 16.02.2004
UPDATE - The wild weather over the weekend is set to continue, with gales forecast to hit parts of the North Island today. "We are having June weather in February," MetService ambassador Bob McDavitt said after a weekend of heavy rain, high winds, plummeting temperatures, thunderstorms and hail... In the Manawatu towns of Marton and Feilding a state of civil emergency was declared... The storm closed several highways and rail links across the North Island including State Highway 1near Waiouru. Heavy rain and gales forced the cancellation of other ferries, including late-night freight runs, stranding hundreds of people... A man was reported missing after a Saturday night fishing trip in Wellington harbour... Thousands of lightning bolts lit up Canterbury... in a spectacular storm that lashed Christchurch... A mini tornado ripped through the Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park near Rotorua's Okere Falls early on Saturday. [...]
More than 1400 forced to flee homes from floods 
NZ Herald 16.02.2004
UPDATED REPORT - Storm battered Manawatu and Rangitikei continued to struggle in the grip of floods and raging rivers tonight as Cabinet approved financial relief to the two worst hit regions. Civil defence emergencies were still in place there and in Wanganui, following the spectacular storm that has forced more than 1400 evacuations in the lower North Island... Federated Farmers said tonight they were not given enough warning of the storm. National board member Hugh Ritchie said... "We had 190mm in under 24 hours -- and not even a heavy rain warning," he said in a statement... Farmers had got a long-range weather forecast through the media last month saying there would be no rain until March. "It hasn't stopped raining since," Mr Ritchie said. He said the "poor forecasting" could end up costing farmers and the New Zealand economy many millions of dollars. MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said more unsettled weather was likely later this week... Dr McDavitt tonight described the latest storm as extreme and most unseasonable... Around 20,000 homes in the lower North Island were affected... The Government Communications Security Bureau, which operates a high frequency radio interception and direction-finding station at Tangimoana, told NZPA tonight that some staff members had been advised to stay away [...]
Rain hits cropping farmers 
NZ Herald Monday 16.02.2004
Cropping farmers in regions that are usually summer-dry say they have been hit hard by the recent heavy rains. In the Wairarapa, where more than 3000ha of crops is at risk, regional Federated Farmers arable section leader Tim Smith said the rains were preventing harvest and crops were now rotting on the ground. And in Mid-Canterbury, the regional Federated Farmers president, Ian Mackenzie, said widespread sprouting of ripe grain in the heads of cereal crops was frustrating harvesters. The effects of drought, followed by three weeks of rain, had been "disastrous" and the region's harvest could be down by as much as 30 per cent, he said... And in the Wairarapa, Smith said... "Everyone is just praying that the weather comes right and they can get them out."... Smith said Wairarapa was the main pea-growing region for New Zealand... Seminis Seeds Masterton production supervisor Gary Compton said the pea harvest was already 40 per cent down [...]
Rain brings death and chaos
nzoom Feb 17, 2004
Rainstorms around the country in the last 24 hours have claimed at least two lives. [...]
Phones and mail services disrupted
STUFF February 17, 2004
Postal and telecommunication services in the lower North Island were severely disrupted by the extreme weather. [...]
Flood waters remain a threat
nzoom Feb 17, 2004
Flood waters in the Manawatu and Rangitikei districts continue to wreak havoc on local communities and motorists... Rural areas around Palmerston North were particularly hard hit with rivers remaining near 100-year highs... Things are slowly returning to normal in Wellington... Officials believe the worst is over although the rain is continuing. On Monday... in the Hutt Valley... more than 170 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours. [...]
Feilding takes brunt of raging torrents 
NZ Herald 17.02.2004
From the air, the scale of the disaster seemed unlimited. The vast plains of the Rangitikei and Manawatu - Oroua River catchments resembled a vast watery landscape, a collection of lakes fuelled by raging torrents, swelling and bursting over fences, roads and hedges, surrounding hundreds of houses. [...]
Cleanup starts, but rain still threatens some areas 
NZ Herald 17.02.2004
UPDATE - Residents and local officials in the lower North Island are waiting anxiously for flood waters to recede today so they can assess the damage caused by one of the worst summer storms in recent memory... thousands of homes were still without power... About 15,000 homes were without power last night... one of the major problems now faced... was a lack of drinking water. However bottled water and water tankers were being brought in today to alleviate the problem. It could take some time to rectify the problem as the rivers from which the water was drawn were still "raging torrents" and it was impossible to get to damaged pipelines... Roads were still closed across much of the Lower North Island [...]
Extreme storm leaves once-in-40yr trail of devastation 
NZ Herald 17.02.2004
New Zealand was last night sorting through the mayhem from a brutal storm, the like of which is seen in summer only once every 40 years... Scientists say the weather system that caused the gales and rain was different to that behind the "weather bomb" which hit the Coromandel nearly two years ago."It is truly, truly abnormal," said MetService ambassador Bob McDavitt... Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan said staff estimated damage to the lower half of the North Island from the floods at up to $50 million. Flood damage claims were coming into insurance companies from the Wellington region, particularly the central city and Lower Hutt. Flooding claims throughout the North Island were also high... National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist Jim Renwick said the remarkable thing about the storm was its timing. [...]
COMMENT: MetService says this event is "abnormal" because it is ignorant of the cause. Claims now adjusted to $100 million and set to go higher. Uninsured losses possibly 3-6 times the insured amount overall. Another "billion dollar disaster" year looks likely. And it's only February.
Forecasters will have to admit that weather engineering is as much the cause of the disaster as climate change or Antarctic oscillation. They cannot prove otherwise. For TWM, the medium-term focus is on severe storms rather than drought. More cost-efficient and takes less time.  (17.02.04)
Fingers crossed for fine March
NZ Herald 18.02.2004
... Scientists and forecasters have been caught on the hop by the turn the weather has taken but say statistics show devastating storms... can happen at any time... Dr Renwick warns against making a link with... global warming. Instead, we've got something called the Antarctic oscillation, a climate pattern that appears to be in reverse mode. Normally it sends high-pressure systems our way at this time of year as low-pressure systems hover over the Antarctic. At the moment, the reverse is happening... Niwa also predicted strong westerlies for this month and "to be brutally honest" got it wrong. "What we didn't pick was more southerlies. We picked it to be relatively dry in the east and on balance it has been, except for these big events." Dr Renwick is pinning his hopes on a dry and settled March. [...]
Floodwaters force Watties shutdown
nzoom Feb 18, 2004
Watties, New Zealand's largest grocery food manufacturer, says a cut in gas supplies to Hawke's Bay could disrupt exports to Japan and Australia... Watties says the shut-downs were costing the company up to $200,000 a day. Damage to the pipeline has also forced Hastings based meat processor Richmond to cut production at the peak of the season. [...]
Clean-up starts as rain looms
nzoom Feb 18, 2004
A massive clean-up has begun in the aftermath of the storm that is now being compared with Cyclone Bola, but there are also predictions of more rain ahead for some of the worst-hit areas. Hundreds remain homeless and entire roads and bridges have been swept away since the storm began... Prime Minister Helen Clark flew in to Feilding... to announce a help package. More rain was predicted for the area on Wednesday night. It is quickly becoming clear that this week's deluge has caused one of the worst floods ever seen in New Zealand. The insurance bill is set to be twice that of Cyclone Bola and it is rising by the day. Around half the total cost is expected to come from damage done in Wellington. [...]
Insurer says claims up 30%
nzoom Feb 18, 2004
The country's largest general insurer, IAG New Zealand, it already has more than 1,000 separate claims under management as a direct result of this week's ferocious storms. The insurer, better known through its insurance brands of State and NZI, says claims enquiries were up by 30% after violent weather lashed the country...  Insurance Council Chief Executive Chris Ryan says that figure does not include the costs for those who are un-insured... Flooding is the most significant cause of claims disasters in New Zealand, attributing for more than 65% of all weather related claims. [...]
Flash flood swamps Paekakariki
nzoom Feb 20, 2004
A flash flood poured through Paekakariki north of Wellington just after 10:00pm on Thursday after more heavy rain and an electrical storm hit the lower North Island... It is the second time in less than six months that the Kapiti Coast town has been inundated.
Reprieve from rain for flood-stricken regions
NZ Herald 23.02.2004
... The Met Service issued a weather warning yesterday after another low pressure system was expected... However, overnight the system had changed direction and was now expected to pass farther to the north... Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton told NZPA yesterday the floods had struck a region which was one of New Zealand's highest producers. Strong winds posed the main weather problems this weekend... The winds lifted roofs, cut phones and brought down trees and power lines, closing more roads and affecting water supplies. The strongest gust recorded by MetService was 230km/h at Angle Knob at the top of the Tararua Range... Several hundred homes had been without power on Saturday, but power lines company Powerco said the high winds had cut power to an extra 9000 houses. [...]
Disaster 'biggest since Napier'
NZ Herald 23.02.2004
The flooding which has caused around $100 million damage in the lower North Island has been described as the worst natural disaster since the Napier earthquake in 1931... Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton last night ... said the flooding had caused widespread damage on a scale not seen for many years in New Zealand, possibly since the Napier earthquake... As Cabinet ministers meet today to look at ways of helping flood-stricken regions, thousands of victims are still struggling to come to terms with the devastation. Intense rain and galeforce winds caused... Hurricane-force winds on Saturday night did little to help the clean-up operation... Insurance Council chief executive Chris Ryan said the estimated $100 million damage figure could easily rise as a number of large commercial claims had yet to be formalised. [...]
How confusing information added to chaos
NZ Herald 23.02.2004
The week of weather-related chaos has raised questions about the ability of councils and emergency services to cope with large-scale natural disasters. Not only did the flooding destroy homes and farmland and kill stock, it cut power, gas, phone lines, water supplies and major roads and bridges. Thousands of work days were lost as people stayed home to clean up, were kept from work by road closures, or could not do their normal jobs.. The follow-on effects were also painful. Hundreds of workers in Hawkes Bay found they were out of work when their factories had to shut down... Further downstream valuable export dollars will be lost because thousands of litres of milk had to be dumped and hundreds of dairy cows drowned at what should have been the most lucrative part of the milking season... There was a more widespread problem in the immediate aftermath of the deluge: working out who was in charge and what was happening. Road and rail closures were a prime example... Lack of information and incorrect information was a recurring theme [...]
Homeowners 'should sue' for flood damage
NZ Herald 23.02.2004
Local authorities have been accused of keeping people in the dark about the susceptibility of their properties to flooding. Waikato University geographer professor Neil Ericksen... director of the university's international global change institute, said it surprised him that more property owners affected by flooding did not sue councils for failing to inform them of the dangers... 
Southland floods 1984 - $103 million
Cyclone Bola 1988 - $52 million
Hastings hailstorm 1994 - $12 million
Queenstown floods 1999 - $46 million
North Island flooding 2002 - $21 million
Flood victims face new challenge
nzoom Feb 24, 2004
The storms in the lower North Island may have let up but the massive cleanup has struck another obstacle - a shortage of trades people... But the recovery is set to be a slow process as tradespeople admit they will struggle to cope... the sheer geographical spread of the floods is putting huge pressure on resources... But as the thousands of insurance claims filter through... the real bottleneck is yet to come.
Farmers set to leave the land
About half the 1200 dairy farmers in the flood-hit Rangitikei-Manawatu-Horowhenua area are considering leaving dairying, according to an industry leader. The floods were the last straw for some, and came on top of last year's drought, predictions of low payouts and the increasing costs of being a Fonterra supplier [...]
COMMENT:  Prolonged flooding nation-wide would be one way of reclaiming land for Tangata Whenua. Negotiating with Pakeha government is a waste of time and energy. (26.02.04)  
Weather lashes vegie buyers
NZ Herald  26.02.2004
People will pay more than double for their greens because of a major shortage in vegetables. Yesterday the price of most vegetables increased by more than 200 per cent as a result of the floods in the lower North Island and heavy rains in the rest of the country. Before the storm broccoli was around $1; it is now $4. A cauliflower was $1.60 and is now $4.30. Spinach was $3 a bunch. It is now $7... The shortage could last a further two months as growers struggled to clean their patches and renew their plants, said Vegfed chief executive Peter Silcock.
Insurer eyes $20m flood bill
Stuff 26 February 2004
Giant trans-Tasman insurer Promina expects a $20 million bill from the North Island floods. Chief executive Michael Wilkins said claims already totalled $12.7 million, and he expected that to rise to about $20 million. Promina is New Zealand's second biggest general insurer, with nearly 28 per cent of the fire and general insurance market. Its two brands are Vero and AA Insurance.
River schemes cost 'frightening'
Stuff 26 February 2004
The damage to river infrastructure which led to last week's massive flooding is in danger of being overlooked as restoration of roads, bridges and other services take priority. In the first Horizons Regional Council meeting ... chief executive Peter Davies gave an overview of the damage to the river systems and said... "I think it is the greatest natural disaster to hit the Manawatu-Wanganui region," he said... "We've said a one in 100 year event, but there's an indication that it's more than that. The event was way in excess of the capacity of the system."
Pessimism rising even before floods
NZ Herald 27.02.2004
Business confidence has taken a dive, hit by rising exchange and interest rates. In the National Bank's monthly survey, 42 per cent of respondents expect general business conditions to get worse over the next 12 months while 14 per cent expect them to get better... The survey closed before last week's flooding in the lower North Island. [...]
Storm damage tipped to top $200m
NZ Herald 26.02.2004
Early estimates of $100 million in flood damage in the lower North Island are likely to fall well short of the mark. Sheep and beef farmers alone face at least $50 million in clean-up costs. That figure, from Meat New Zealand economists yesterday, excludes far greater losses still to be counted on the low-lying dairy and crop farms worst affected by the floods... Damage in eastern areas is still to be calculated... the bill for flood damage to all farms in the region could top $200 million... It would take many farms three or more years to fully recover. Richmond chief executive Richard Carver... The biggest effect for the company had been the flood damage to its processing plants... disruption to production was costing money. [...]
Cyclone set to miss NZ but heavy rain coming
NZ Herald  26.02.2004
A tropical cyclone currently battering Vanuatu is likely to miss New Zealand, the Met Service says... a depression currently off the Queensland coast set to dump heavy rain on the North Island this weekend. "This is likely to bring a lot of rain to the North Island on Saturday and maybe also to the west of the South Island," forecaster Eric Brenstrum told NZPA today... Farmers have about six weeks to re-cultivate the land before winter sets in, but some have to wait for their land to drain before they can resow. [...]
East, west - home will be best this weekend
NZ Herald 27.02.2004
Foul weather will thump New Zealand from both sides this weekend. From the west, a low will arrive, lashing the whole country tomorrow. The South Island and the lower North Island will be hit hardest, with strong winds and up to 150mm of rain. Come Sunday and Monday the north-east of the country will feel the effects of the remnants of tropical Cyclone Ivy. MetService weather ambassador Bob McDavitt said it looked like a "tempestuous" end to summer. Mr McDavitt said the areas now cleaning up from flood damage would escape the worst of the weekend weather.
Weekend Weather Reports - Read And Weep
Scoop Headlines: updated Thu, 26 Feb, 2004 3:45 pm 
Come Saturday, comes torrential rain across most of the country. Come Sunday, a monster, slow moving, low system with rain and wind from Invercargill to Cape Reinga. And then to top it off - come Monday, comes cyclone Ivy to Northland, the East Cape and Hawke's Bay.
Weather plays havoc with power
nzoom Feb 28, 2004
Power has been restored in many parts of the Auckland region after severe weather brought down power lines across the region. In Takanini, about 800 homes were still blacked out... Earlier, major faults in Waiwera, north of Auckland and Clevedon to the south, had been repaired... Meanwhile, electricity has been restored to the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington... Power was restored to about 2000 homes in South Auckland by 10am on Saturday morning... Vector says two faults were responsible for leaving much of Mangere with no power from about 6am on Saturday.
Heavy rain lashes North Island
nzoom Feb 29, 2004
Tongariro River has burst its banks in Turangi, forcing more than 100 residents from their homes. Prolonged heavy rain... causing extensive flooding in the region... MetService said the upper half of the North Island would bear the brunt of the bad weather hitting the country on Sunday. A front moved up New Zealand overnight, dumping heavy rain from Nelson and Marlborough, through Wellington, the Tararuas and Taranaki... Falls of between 120 and 250 millimetres were predicted. The Bay of Plenty was expected to get the heaviest falls and it may get further rain and gales from Cyclone Ivy as it passes east of the country. [...]
Growers bear greatest flood cost 
NZ Herald 01.03.2004
While last month's floods mean consumers may pay a few dollars more... the real cost is to the lives of growers, says Vegfed chief executive Peter Silcock... Between 20 and 30 per cent of the nation's total potato harvest has been affected... The problem was that some might not be able to afford to stay in the industry, meaning long-term supply issues. "We've got some growers who have lost up to $1 million of product... It's a whole year's income."... Between 200 and 300 growers had been affected...
Counting the cost
               * $30 million worth of crops destroyed. 
               * Flood-damaged regions account for 10 to 15 per cent of national production. 
               * Potatoes were worst hit: 20,000 tonnes, almost 10 per cent of national crop, have been lost
               * Peas, squash and onions also badly damaged but were partially harvested.
               * Vegetable exports earned $507 million last year. 
And that, believe it or not, was summer
STUFF Monday, 01 March 2004
Summer ended in dramatic fashion with more heavy rain in the North Island forcing people from their homes and closing main highways. Army personnel were on standby overnight as rivers in Manawatu and Wanganui came close to bursting their banks, threatening areas already devastated by flooding... The highest recorded rainfall was at Mt Taranaki, which received more than 400mm in 24 hours.
February deluges break records
nzoom Mar 01, 2004
Deluges throughout the country in February have broken 30 monthly rainfall records and produced the windiest February ever recorded. The National Institute of Weather and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) says seven heavy rainstorms produced up to six times more rain than average across the North Island - from Waikato to Wellington. NIWA says frequent depressions tracking south of the country, and a lack of anti-cyclones, resulted in the strongest westerlies recorded since wind records began in 1941. More than 1,000 millimetres of rain was recorded in the Tararua ranges, and Waiouru recorded the highest ever rainfall in one day - 134 millimetres. [...]
COMMENT: See NIWA's summary for February 2004. TOP

Flood damage costs still growing
NZ Herald 02.03.2004
Farms and forests in the lower North Island have suffered up to $180 million damage in last month's floods, the Government estimates. In addition, the cost of damage to roads and other essential infrastructure was about $65 million, give or take 30 per cent, Prime Minister Helen Clark said yesterday. The figures are preliminary and likely to be conservative. They do not include downstream losses, such as the value which would have been added in dairy factories, meat works or saw mills. Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said MAF estimated about 2600 farmers were affected... The damage so far... Total $204m-$265m.
Flood cost 1pc of GDP
NZ Herald Saturday March 06, 2004
Wellington economist Gareth Morgan predicts that recent floods will wipe 1 per cent off New Zealand's gross domestic product. In Palmerston North last night, Dr Morgan said Cyclone Bola in 1988 took 0.3 per cent off GDP. He did not give figures, but on estimated GDP figures of $126 billion for the March 2004 year, 1 per cent would amount to about $1.26 billion. Dr Morgan said his company had estimated the percentage after studying the industries affected. But he said the region should not be too badly hurt because of a flurry of repair activity.
COMMENT: Assuming of course that flooding is not repeated during the year. That is unlikely. Other major producing regions have been targeted for similar treatment.
The effects of the drought-heatwave in January should also be included. That would bring total weather disaster costs for the first two months of 2004 close to $1.75 billion. In dollar terms, a significant achievement for even the largest corporates. (07.03.04)

Flood-related roading costs could hit $50 million
NZ Herald Monday March 15, 2004
Damage to local roads from last month's flooding across much of the lower North Island could cost as much as $50 million, says national road funding agency Transfund... Once all remaining claims had been received -- in about two weeks -- the agency would have a clearer idea of the exact cost of the flooding damage to roads, she said.
Double-ups in phone network beat the floods 
NZ Herald Wednesday March 17, 2004
... Telecom boss Theresa Gattung told the Herald last week that outages caused by the flooding were the "single biggest network event in the last 10 years" for Telecom. About 6000 Telecom customers in the lower North Island had their phone services disrupted at the peak of the flooding. Main fibre and copper cables were knocked out at 40 river crossings when bridges were washed away or swamped by floodwaters... The operators are yet to put figures on the cost of repairs, but all agree it will be significant. [...]
Government dips deeper for flood work 
NZ Herald Thursday March 18, 2004
The Government yesterday committed a further $40 million to the flood recovery package... It brings total Government funding for the disaster recovery to $130 million... The floods are estimated to have cost the agricultural sector $200 million with local infrastructure repairs costing a further $100 million...  Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said the floods had a more serious impact on the country's agricultural industry than any other disaster in the past 30 years. About 2600 farms had been affected, some 800 of them "severely affected". A month after the floods more than 550 people are still unable to return to their homes... The cost of repairing State Highways in the flooded regions has been estimated to cost $10 million. Local road repairs are expected to cost a further $62 million, of which $52 million will be covered by Transfund. Federated Farmers president Tom Lambie said he was pleased the Government had recognised the scale of the disaster. [..]
COMMENT: TWM has unlimited resources at its disposal. How deep do Pakeha government pockets go? (18.03.04)

Flood regions suffer big loss of confidence 
Stuff 23 March 2004
Consumer confidence plunged in Taranaki, Manawatu and Wanganui in the March quarter, after last month's big floods. The areas are now the least confident of any regions, according to the latest Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence survey, out today... About 2600 farmers were affected by the flooding in the lower North Island. The damage to farms and farm incomes has been estimated at $200 million and to public roads and bridges and the like at about $100 million... Confidence fell in seven of the 11 regions. Canterbury had the biggest fall... McDermott Miller managing director Richard Miller said high-income consumers and consumers from the main cities had marked falls in confidence.
Flooded residents ask why
nzoom Apr 02, 2004
Rural communities hit hard by flooding earlier this year had a feisty meeting with their local councils. They say the problem was made far worse by a civil defence organisation in disarray. They say no one took overall responsibility during the emergency and the same thing would happen if there were more floods tomorrow... The floods destroyed thousands of hectares of farmland from south Taranaki to the Manawatu. [..]
Big flood leaves huge loss of soil
NZ Herald Friday April 23, 2004
Scientists say the February storm in the lower North Island produced such severe and widespread landslides that nearly 20,000ha of pasture has been lost from farms. Erosion scars cover about 25 per cent of the damaged farmland and will take up to 10 years to regain productivity, Landcare Research said yesterday. Staff at the Palmerston North office have used satellite remote sensing equipment to map the hill-country landslides and river valley silt deposits that did the damage. The worst-affected district was the Rangitikei (6300ha), followed by Manawatu (4500ha) and Wanganui (4100ha). [...]

After the February floods: what about next time?
NIWA Media Release
9 June 2004
The story of February’s storms is described in the latest issue of Natural Hazards Update... In total, 47 severe weather warnings were issued in February, many covering a large part of the country. The Update is produced by the Natural Hazards Centre, which is a joint initiative of NIWA and GNS, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences... Scientists from the two agencies are now beginning work on a multi-million dollar model to predict the risks... NIWA scientist Dr Rob Bell said the new model will offer a wide range of organisations better information to plan and prepare for floods, earthquakes and other natural hazards. The model will simulate rare, high-impact natural events, such as the February floods... “The model will be built in stages. We hope to have a prototype working for three regions by June 2006,” said Dr Bell. The project is being funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology at a cost of two million dollars a year for up to four years. [...]
Transit committed to gorge
TVNZ Aug 26, 2004
Transit says the Manawatu Gorge is still the best route between Hawke's Bay and Manawatu and it is committed to keeping the road open. The gorge was closed for more than two months after February's floods and another slip shut it on Wednesday, forcing vehicles to use alternative routes over the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges. Kevin Locke, Transit's acting regional manager for the area... says Wednesday's slip brought down 2,000 cubic metres of mud and rock, making it much smaller than the slips which have closed the road for weeks in the past.
Toll result dampened by floods
TVNZ Aug 27, 2004

Rail operator Toll New Zealand says the February floods in the lower North Island and intense competition within shipping has impacted on its operations. The company made operating earnings of $35.7 million for the year to June, lower than Toll had been predicting due to the floods, which cost it $8 million. Overall, the company made a loss of $335 million after asset writedowns before selling the tracks to the government. That compares to a loss of $2.6 million the previous year.
February floods hit councils in the pocket
Herald 17.09.2004
The effects of the February floods in the lower North Island continue to trickle through the system, with a hit to the bottom line of councils in the area. The floods contributed to record expenditure in the June 2004 quarter of $1.126 billion, government statistician Brian Pink said in a statement today. Statistics New Zealand figures showed that additional government grants, mainly for road repairs, had increased total grants and subsidies to New Zealand's 86 local authorities to $156 million for the quarter...

COMMENT: Eight months later and the threat of more flooding continues. (18.10.04)  TOP
Heavy rain concerns lower Nth Is
Rivers rising in lower Nth Is after heavy rain, still falling, Tararuas recording 200-300 millimetres, slips on some roads
NZCity News 16 October 2004
Rivers are rising in the lower North Island after heavy overnight rain. The Tararua Ranges have recorded between 200 and 300 millimetres and it is still falling. MetService expects another 50 to 70 mm this morning.Senior forecaster Andy Downs says regional councils are monitoring the situation. He says there has been enough rain for a potential threat to Manawatu, Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Andy Downs says Mount Taranaki has had about 80 millimetres and a similar amount is likely over the next few hours. Regional councils are once again on standby in the lower North Island, with MetService warning that the Tararua ranges, the source of much of the Manawatu's problems, could get 150 millimetres overnight. In fact falls have been much more than that. Meanwhile, the rain has brought slips down onto some lower North Island roads...

Bad weather moves down country
Sth Island prepares for lashing, from bad weather already afflicting lower Nth Island with rainfalls of up to 350mm
NZCity News
16 October 2004
Much of the South Island is in for a lashing, from bad weather already afflicting the lower North Island. Rainfalls of up to 350 millimetres have been recorded in the Tararua Ranges overnight and today, with about 100 millimetres recorded on Mount Taranaki. Regional councils in the lower North Island are keeping a close eye on rivers, which are all rising. Forecaster Andy Downs says another low will cross central New Zealand bringing cold south-easterlies, and rain from Canterbury to Southland. Horizons Regional Council says so far there are not any flooding problems in its area, which includes the flood-ravaged Manawatu...
More rain forecast for lower Nth Island
Heavy rain on its way for parts of the lower North Island as Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa continue to dry out
NZCity News 17 October 2004
It seems to be one downpour after another in the North Island. Another bout of heavy rain is on its way for parts of the lower North Island. Manawatu, the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa are drying out after torrential rain in the Tararua Ranges overnight Friday and on Saturday... MetService says a depression is approaching and should cross the central North Island tomorrow. Forecasters say it will bring up to 100 millimetres to some parts of Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa, with the worst effects on the coastal hills. Lesser amounts are expected closer to the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges. The latest rain is likely to cause rivers to rise and some flooding is possible...

Manawatu to get more rain

More rain expected to hit Manawatu-Wanganui region, but catchments should be able to cope- snow for Sth Island
NZCity News 17 October 2004
The Manawatu-Wanganui region is likely to be damp for some time yet. Horizons Regional Council has been on high alert this weekend following a severe weather warning. But while MetService is forecasting more rain, it doesn't think there will be too much... Horizons Regional Council spokesman Allan Cook says there haven't been many weekends lately where they haven't had to be on high alert. He says it seems there is a two-week cycle of bad, wet weather and it is lucky the catchments coped with yesterday's rainfall. Fortunately it was only in the higher part of the catchment and didn't cause any serious problems. He says it is now a case of waiting to see what the second weather front will bring. And MetService is predicting snow down to 500 metres for Canterbury, Otago and Southland.
Army on standby for high tide at Foxton Beach
NZ Herald 18.10.2004 10.00 am
The army was on standby to help with sandbagging today as Foxton Beach residents and the region's councils braced for high tide on the flooded Manawatu River... An 80m temporary stopbank was hurriedly built overnight, after Foxton Beach residents alerted the council last night of an existing stopbank that was struggling to contain flows on the lower reaches of the river in the Horowhenua district... There had been no evacuations this morning. Horizons operations group manager Allan Cook said there had been a high tide just after 1.30am today...The forecast for the Tararua ranges was for heavy rain, which would not ease until this evening. Manawatu, Horowhenua and Rangitikei residents have been hammered with floods this year. In February floods saw hundreds evacuated from their homes and in August a second flood forced the evacuation of several homes in the Tararua district and swamped farmland.
Flooding forces Napier residents from homes
 NZ Herald 18.10.2004 7.50 am
 Several Napier homes have been evacuated due to torrential rain in Hawke's Bay. The downpour struck just after midnight, flooding roads and properties in the Napier suburbs of Taradale, Greenmeadows, Onekawa and Tamatea. Firefighters have received dozens of calls from people with water in their homes and are being kept busy rescuing motorists stranded on flooded roads. Police are asking people to avoid driving through flooded streets...
 Families evacuated after floods hit Napier
 NZ Herald 18.10.2004 9.10am
Up to 40 people were evacuated from their homes after a thunderstorm parked over Napier and caused floods overnight. Between 50-60mm of rain pelted the district over three hours and water was reported to be waist deep in some parts of the city. Telephone and power services were also out in places this morning, and Napier City Council engineers were working to contain swollen sewerage and storm water systems... A heavy rain warning was still in place for Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa early this morning... MetService said prospects of severe weather from Tuesday to Friday were minimal.
Flood costs set to climb
NZ Herald 20.10.2004
Napier businesses estimate damage from Monday's flooding will run into millions of dollars.

Extra flood relief funds announced
NZ Herald 20.10.2004 6.00 pm
Lower North Island councils affected by last February's floods will receive $12 million in additional financial aid, the Government announced today. The funds will go to Wellington and Manawatu-Wanganui regional councils, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton and Civil Defence Minister George Hawkins said today in a statement. Mr Hawkins said $10 million of the money would go to the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council (Horizons) to help repair flood protection and drainage schemes damaged by the floods.
Flood-battered farmers and families need support
Flood-battered farmers and their families need community help and support more now than ever before, says Massey University clinical psychologist Kevin Ronan. Winter's continuing clammy grip and the endless scares and mini-floods since February are probably causing more tiredness and anxiety in many Manawatu residents. But the people at the thick end of the flooding – farmers and their families, who have spent the winter in bogs and watching hill pastures slip endlessly – will need support and help for months to come. Dr Ronan says most at risk are the children of adults severely affected by flooding...
COMMENT: Compare with the chaos, cultural | social disruption, dispossesion, genocide and repression that Maori experienced during the Pakeha colonial invasion. (22.10.04) TOP

BACKGROUND - Race relations in Aotearoa-NZ

The New Zealand Way
Tino Rangatiratanga
Legislative Violations of the Treaty of Waitangi
Autonomy or Self-Government Destroyed
Reducing the Socio-economic Disparities
Constitutional Matters
Racism in Aotearoa-NZ 
Racist Capitalism in Aotearoa-NZ
Entrepreneurship Amongst Maori and Pakeha
Foreshore and Seabed Claim 2003
"Letter to Helen"

COMMENT: Note the link between the timing of the flood and Waitangi Day (commemorating the 1840 signing of the Treaty between Maori and Pakeha). See above.

Weather engineering is TWM's method of confronting Pakeha racism and challenging Pakeha government claims to supremacy.

Since first contact, Pakeha feared Maori would dominate and frustrate their plans to colonize Aotearoa. After the Land Wars, successive generations feared that Maori would acquire sufficient power to retaliate and recover stolen resources. Their fear is endemic, palpable and, in the present climate of racial tension, easily exploited by unscrupulous politicians. The call for "One people. One law" disguises the reality that Pakeha will, because of their greater numbers, define what that will mean, viz. reinforce White privilege. But "greater numbers" could also mean "more casualties" in any environmental catastrophe. Something to consider.
If each generation of Pakeha had been motivated by professed Christian values (viz. "Thou shalt not covet...") and a sense of justice instead of self-interest, the present situation would not exist. Instead, each generation has colluded in denying any injustice had been committed and frustrating all attempts by Maori to have their patrimony restored. The era of colonization, assimilation, deception, lies and rampant expropriation of Indigenous resources has been corrupt, corrosive and must not continue.
Pakeha government cannot deny that it was warned.
While politicians and media pontificate ad nauseum about the Treaty, TWM has set out to disrupt the Pakeha economy via weather engineering. Apart from earthquake and volcanic activity, severe storms and floods are the most effective method of achieving that goal. Also, TWM is merely continuing the practice of economic-political subversion initiated by Pakeha against Maori during the early stages of colonization. This time, Pakeha institutions | infrastructure are being targeted. Call it "reciprocity" or "karma".

Now, is the best time for Maori to empower and liberate themselves; to unleash their creative genius and make their unique contribution to a peaceful, just and sustainable world. TWM has demonstrated that it is possible without compromising autonomy or integrity (unlike many of the current Maori Labour politicians).
, is a narrative of Indigenous weather engineering. This process will be repeated for as long as it takes to restore Tino rangatiratanga, justice and sanity. In order to achieve this, some radical surgery is required. The current disaster is the second "operation" for 2004. There will be more.

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Last modified: 26 October 2004