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Source: New Zealand Government

Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor is travelling to Southland today. The region is in a state of local emergency following widespread flooding.

“I’m heading down there to support response and recovery efforts and meet with the locals”, he said.

“A lot of people have been evacuated from their homes, have suffered flood damage to their properties or are disrupted by road and school closures. I urge people to put safety first, listen to the advice of authorities, and look out for each other.

“When visiting today I also want to acknowledge and thank those working on the response.

“I know the Civil Defence Emergency Management staff in the Emergency Operations Centre are working around the clock, as are Police, Fire and Emergency NZ, NZ Defence Force and National Emergency Management Agency personnel.

“It’s a big operation and the situation is changing really rapidly. Seeing things first-hand will enable me to assess if additional Government support is needed”, he said.