Gloria Brown knows only too well how flooding can affect the small Bay of Plenty town of Edgecumbe.

This week, heavy rain saw the Rangitaiki River burst its bank, sending a 500-year flood into the town. The entire town of 200 residents had to be evacuated.

Ms Brown is from nearby Kawerau and knows the area well.

"Edgecumbe always has been prone to flooding in the past - but nothing like this," she said.


Ms Brown is a volunteer at the Whanganui Koha Shed, which is collecting donations of goods to send up to the Koha Shed's Kawerau branch.

Sherron Sunnex from the Koha Shed said a truck would be leaving Whanganui on Monday afternoon to head up to Kawerau. Another truck was heading to Kawerau from Auckland, collecting goods from Koha Sheds along the way.

"We've been talking with the flood response team up there, and they've told us there's a real shortage of blankets, clothes, baby gear, pillows and non-perishable food," Ms Sunnex said.

"We're asking people for donations of goods because winter is coming and we can't really deplete what we need for people here in Whanganui."

Ms Sunnex said in about a month's time more assistance would be needed for people in Edgecumbe, as they find accommodation and need household goods such as furniture.

People can drop donations off to the Koha Shed, 88 Duncan St, throughout the weekend and up to Monday morning.

Ms Brown said her son still lived in the area and, although he was safe and well, he had had to rescue a good friend from the floodwaters.

"There are a lot of people having a very hard time right now," she said.


Wanganui Auto Wreckers is also accepting goods Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.