While last week's flood prompted a state of emergency in the Wanganui district, it was not appropriate for the Rangitikei region.
Some residents of flood-hit Whangaehu have voiced concerns about the decision, but yesterday council chief executive Ross McNeil explained the reasoning behind that call.
'The Civil Defence Emergency Management Act provides an extensive definition of an emergency but, in essence, a state of emergency is declared when the event is such that the situation cannot be dealt with by emergency services, or otherwise requires a significant and co-ordinated response over above that which might otherwise be required," he said.
Horizons Regional Council had monitored the event and the CDEM response to it was altered as circumstances changed.
"For the Rangitikei district, based on the river level information, this was a level 2 event - meaning it required a multi-agency response," Mr McNeil said.
"But at no time did we consider the emergency services and the other response agencies couldn't effectively cope with the situation.
"On that basis, it was not necessary to declare a state of local emergency."
He said part of the response involved contacting residents in the Whangaehu and Turakina areas to advise of the situation and, in the case of Whangaehu, "we advised residents to evacuate on a voluntary basis".
Mr McNeil spoke to Whangaehu resident Mike McDonnell on Friday after he had told the Chronicle that because a state of emergency had not been declared, he would not be entitled to compensation.
Mr McNeil said he was unsure what compensation Mr McDonnell sought, but he was advised that access to support was not limited to where a state of emergency had been declared.
Mr McNeil added that consideration to declare a state of emergency required careful assessment: the nature of the event, its likely impact, the ability of the community to deal with the likely impacts, and the ability of agencies, such as local councils, NZ Transport Agency, and emergency services to deal with the likely impacts.
He said the weather last week had resulted in slips and damage to roads across the district.
"Council is focused on getting roads repaired and usable, but we are looking at how we can assist residents in affected areas.
"In Whangaehu we will be fully assessing damage to infrastructure once waters recede sufficiently to allow that, and then consider how and when any required repair work can be undertaken.