The flood-stricken community of Puketapu has received a welcome boost with its iconic pub, The Puketapu, announcing it will rebuild and reopen.
The pub and restaurant in the centre of the village, on the outskirts of Napier, was badly flooded during Cyclone Gabrielle last month.
Work is underway to fix the establishment and it could reopen in three months at the earliest.
Initially, whether to rebuild or not was a difficult call for long-time owners Mary and Chris Danielson to make.
However, seeing what people were going through and the resilience shown by the community swayed their decision.
“The first day or two, it was like ‘we don’t know what to do’,” Mary said.
“But as soon as this community [pulled together] and seeing what has happened around us - it wasn’t a decision. It was ‘we have to do this’.”
Mary said it was an incredible community to be a part of. They had banded together from day one of the floods.
“I think one thing that has come out of this whole thing - and lots of areas are the same - is the community spirit, it is just beautiful. We are all there for each other,” she said.
“We have a lot of people around here that have lost everything - their businesses, their orchards, their houses - it is awful.
“But there is that real strength of just getting on with it.”
Floodwaters reached above knee height inside The Puketapu during the cyclone.
“The fridges and freezers were floating in the kitchen, in the bar there was glassware floating around the place, everything was floating everywhere,” she said.
“The whole pub got done, everything has had to be pulled up and we lost a lot of the stuff inside.”
She said they were insured and labourers as well as The Puketapu staff had been doing great work in getting it fixed up.
She said there would be a “big opening” for locals, and then for all customers when it reopened.
Mary said “it’s a horrible feeling” being cut off from Puketapu South, as that bridge had washed away, and she could not wait to see that community and others nearby like Dartmoor and Rissington reconnected.
The Danielsons, whose home was not damaged, have been helping distribute goods and donations during the flood recovery.