Edgecumbe residents are ready to take matters into their own hands after getting sick of waiting for the town's supermarket to reopen post the 2017 flood.
Edgecumbe's SuperValue Supermarket was one of a number of businesses operating from Riverslea Mall on April 6, 2017 when the Rangitāiki River breached and the town flooded.
Since then, residents have waited patiently while being fed what they believe to be "a whole heap of codswallop" in regard to reinstating what has been described as the hub of the Rangitāiki Plains.
Valerie Jenner, Marie Fry and Adele Linsell are just three of what they say, is a huge chunk of the Edgecumbe community, who are over the entire supermarket saga.
"We don't care why it hasn't opened anymore," Jenner said. "We want to know definitively, whether it is reopening, when it is reopening or otherwise we'll make alternative arrangements."
Fry said a number of the town's businesses had "really stepped up to the plate" to help residents.
"I have to single out Tracy at Rangitāiki Home Kills who expanded her range well past just meat. Also the owners of Central Dairy who continue to promise that, if they don't have something we need, they'll get it in.
"Pepper's Building Supplies and RD1 have also been great. These businesses have supported us and we're more than happy to keep supporting them."
The women said if it hadn't been for local people helping locals the situation would have been dire.
"I think that's a lot of the problem, neither the owner of Riverslea Mall nor the SuperValue owner live in Edgecumbe," Jenner said.
The Edgecumbe SuperValue Supermarket is owned by Don Gorrie who took over the store in February 2016 and had 14 months of trading before the flood. Gorrie lives in nearby Kawerau.
Dave and Julie Grindley own Riverslea Mall and live in Tauranga.
"We just want to be told the truth instead of continually be given tentative opening dates that do not eventuate," Jenner said. "We've talked about using online grocery shopping as a collective with a single drop-off point in Edgecumbe. The food could be distributed from there."
Linsell, who does not drive, has been reliant on the generosity of others to take her to Kawerau or Whakatāne to shop.
"There are a number of elderly people in the retirement village who do not drive, I've seen some in tears because of the delay," Linsell said.
Earlier this year, Gorrie told NZME he aimed for the supermarket to be open on April 30. He admitted it was not the first time the date had moved, as new problems surfaced.
There were issues with insurance and major difficulties and disagreements with his landlord, to the point that it went to arbitration - a long-winded, drawn-out process, Gorrie said.
"Right now we are waiting to hear back about the supply of power to the supermarket," Gorrie said. "Infrastructure for the mall was built about 30 years ago and, as you can imagine, is not suitable for the appliances we have."
Gorrie said the required power cables were not able to be put underground so consent was required to put them overhead. "The consent application has been given to the landlord and I am waiting for a reply."
Gorrie believed the cable issue was the last of the "big ticket items" and, once resolved, the supermarket would open.
"I don't want to give any dates as people tend to hold you to what you say, some things you just can't get to happen any faster. But I would like to thank the people of the Edgecumbe community for their patience."
A spokesperson from Woolworths, the parent company of SuperValue, said "we know the SuperValue Edgecumbe store is really missed by our loyal customers and we're working closely with our store owner and the landlords to try and get the store back up and running".
Rangitāiki Community Board chairwoman Charelle Stevenson agreed things had gone on too long.
Stevenson said she was sure that, following the 1987 Edgecumbe Earthquake, the supermarket was back up and running within a year.