A preschool sandpit has been dug up for bagging in the fight against the Auckland floods.
Kumeu-based business couple Morgan and Len Julian, with the help of more than 40 volunteers, have filled and delivered 3000 sandbags since the weekend.
About 25 tonnes of sand has been donated by several companies, including Inpro Services in Waitakere and Central Landscapes in Swanson.
When supplies of sand ran out, volunteers removed about two cubic metres from Kumeu Playcentre before another truck and trailer load arrived from Woodhill Sands.
Over the course of the past three days, the Julians have set up a sandbagging operation from a container warehouse they run in Whenuapai with the help of volunteers to bag, stack, and deliver sandbags for local elderly and vulnerable people, and community groups.
Deliveries have also been made to Sandringham and a church organisation on the North Shore to protect a food bank.
The Julians, who own several businesses, have provided hundreds of long sacks, which have been cut in two to double production, and cable ties to secure the sandbags.
“We don’t like to mess around. If you can do it, you do it. And we can,” said Morgan Julian.
Many of the sandbags are being delivered in a $200,000 Land Rover Defender by the car’s owner Carl Shaw, who bumped into Len Julian looking for people to help deliver sandbags.
He said the new off-road vehicle is covered in mud from driving through floods and delivering 1000 to 1500 sandbags, adding he’s been working from 7am until after 2am the following day.
“It’s been nice helping people in a crisis,” said Shaw.
A spokesperson for the Bethells Beach/Te Henga emergency response group, Dr Rhian McCorquodale, said they managed to connect a couple of residents with the Julians who kindly supplied 20 sandbags.
“They had worked through the previous night but allowed us to collect sandbags from them the following morning. The residents were very grateful and their homes were protected,” she said.
Another person, who did not want to be named, called Len Julian a " true local hero” for delivering sandbags to her sister’s garage where she stores donated food and makes food parcels.