Residents of some of the 94 homes issued with insanitary notices after the April 29 floods in Rotorua are starting to return home.
More than three months on from the severe weather event which saw houses in Rotorua flooded, a majority in Ngongotaha, Flood Recovery Office navigators are still helping those who were affected, according to a statement on the Rotorua Lakes Council website.
Out of the 94 homes which were issued with insanitary notices, 20 have had the notices lifted, with another 20 expected to be lifted within the coming weeks.
The navigators have been providing flood-affected residents with a wrap-around service offering them one-on-one support and linking them to key agencies and resources both within Rotorua Lakes Council and externally.
Recovery manager Paula Meredith said in the statement the kaiārahi (navigators) were tactful and respectful to everyone's different situation.
"They have developed a great set of skills and have helped people through very tough and stressful situations."
The kaiārahi have a list of nearly 1000 residents who they have been in contact with, and 475 of those cases have now been closed.
Meredith said people who still needed help could contact the Flood Recovery Office on 0800 020 001.
Residential Advisory Service support was also available to help with insurance issues on 0800 777 299.
The team in the Flood Recovery Office is also putting together welcome home packs for those returning home. Businesses that would like to be involved can contact Linda Johnston on email@example.com.
Meredith said one thing which had come to light was the amount of community spirit in the wake of adversity.
"We have heard so many heart-warming stories of people helping complete strangers and communities coming together to help both individuals and families.
"It is great to hear about how people have helped each other cope and get through," she said.
To help lift the financial burden, the Mayoral Manaakitanga Fund was set up and so far 59 applications for funding have been approved with nearly $50,000 given to affected residents.
More than $57,000 has been donated and applications are still being received daily.
Meanwhile, council stormwater maintenance staff are still clearing drains and repairing minor damage. Flood gates are being installed on the stormwater outfalls along the Ngongotahā Stream.
Other improvement works have also been identified.
Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund:
Application forms and Terms of Reference can be found on the Rotorua Lakes Council website here.
Details for donations:
Account name: Mayoral Manaakitanga Relief Fund
Account number: 02-0412-0234516-006
How: Direct credit or in person at Rotorua Lakes Council building
Details: No specific statement details are needed