New Zealand Labour Party

Urgent action needed in South Dunedin

Honest lessons need to be learnt about the state of South Dunedin’s sewers, storm water drains and pumping systems following this week’s horrific floods, says Labour MP for Dunedin South Clare Curran. 

“South Dunedin’s infrastructure clearly had problems coping with heavy rain and rising water tables. 

“In the aftermath of some of the most serious flooding the city has ever experienced serious questions should also be asked about whether a local state of emergency should have been called on Wednesday night as the flooding deepened in the heart of South Dunedin. 

“Leaving aside the debate about whether sandbags were an effective way to mitigate internal flooding of homes and businesses, there was a concerted volunteer effort underway for much of Wednesday night at the St Kilda Life Saving Club which became a de facto first response team. 

“They encountered numerous people who had flooded homes. While the Fire service and police did a sterling job reacting where they could, many people were left to their own devices overnight. 

“South Dunedin has a high proportion of elderly, disabled and low income families who struggled to cope. Let’s get an urgent assessment done now and not take months or years to debate the changes required. 

“It’s heartening that the Mayor has agreed  changes are needed,” says Clare Curran.