Six days on from the flood that decimated the town of Edgecumbe, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges says he's fine tuning a support package for local businesses.

"I think there will be support. It's really just a question of the level needed, the size."

Mr Bridges took a tour of the area to survey the damage.

People with businesses here haven't been able to trade for a week - and it's still not clear when some of them will be able to get back to work.


"I just really want to get back up and running as soon as possible so that I can support my family," says signage business owner Kyle Stevenson.

Business owners say they know it will be a long clean-up process ahead - and they are resilient.

"We're going to work together, we're going to pull together. We are a resilient rural community - we know one another in lots of different ways. I think we'll be a lot stronger in the long term," says Carl Anderson.

Eastern Bay of Plenty Chamber of Commerce CEO Gerard Casey is liaising with business owners to ensure they are able to survive during the aftermath of the disaster.

"I think the biggest issue is when can they get in and when can they get started again. The other big concern is how are they going to be able to pay for staff, so we're identifying those that have business interruption insurance, and then being able to get in and get those cleared," says Mr Casey.

Kyle Stevenson says he will have to temporarily set up his signage business outside of Edgecumbe.

"Probably the hardest part is getting the insurers in there to write all the gear off, so I can start bringing the new gear in. That's really the most painful part at this point," he says

Mr Stevenson says it will take months to make back the money he's lost while the town has been underwater.

What makes it harder, is the knowledge that the worst may not be over yet, with more heavy rain hitting the region in the next 48 hours.

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