New Lynn locals can be hopeful of a helping hand from council, knowing that local MP David Cunliffe is on their side.

NZ Herald Focus reporter Tristram Clayton, caught up with Cunliffe outside the flood-damaged businesses.

Cunliffe said he could sense the desperation from local business owners and residents. He explained that many were new and didn't have a big buffer to help get them back on their feet.

"One lady I talked to broke down in tears. She couldn't even afford to get the skip to take away what was left of their equipment and their food. So absolutely desperate.


"The whole community is behind the affected families and businesses in New Lynn at this time. It's been a shocker of a few days."

Cunliffe hoped the council will "come to the party" to compensate local businesses.

"If water was the responsibility of somebody else and it escaped its bank and boundaries and wrecked their businesses they may well have a case for compensation.

"Going through the legal route is costly, time-consuming and a lose-lose. My hope is council will come to the party and work with these folks on an ex-gratia basis and see them through thick and thin."

One woman has lost up to $70,000 worth of machinery and stock from her Indian snacks business. Her husband, who was in the shop at the time of the storm, needed rescued by the Fire Service.

"It is really hard. I started this business from scratch and I feel like I have to start it again from scratch.

"This is my bread and butter, so I have to do it."