Armies of volunteers and retirees out helping flood victims

Residents across Auckland are giving up their long weekend to help those affected by the devastating floods.

Hundreds of people arrived at Starling Park this morning to be put into volunteer teams by the Student Volunteer Army.

They would be deployed to help clean up streets and homes, conduct welfare checks, and carry out contaminated household items.

“There is still a lot of that to do,” said Jana Hood of the Student Volunteer Army.

“There are a lot of people in homes that are white stickered that are living in pretty difficult conditions, and we have a high demand for community housing.”

1News joined a team on Auckland’s North Shore, clearing out a house that had been slapped with a yellow sticker by the Auckland council.

Almost all the furniture had to be moved – there was also mould starting to grow on the ceiling.

“Stuff is still wet and it's kind of heart-breaking to see the difference between those who got off easy and other properties that are a complete write-off,” said volunteer Erin Bowers.

People were also getting stuck into volunteer work across Auckland – including those at Settlers Lifestyle Village in Albany.

Residents there put out a call for donations, and they were flooding in.

When 1News visited a team sorting through a room stacked with bags and boxes of donations, including linen, furniture, electronics, clothes, and food – someone had even donated a brand-new drier.

“As older people it's not easy to go out in the community and do the canvassing but we can do our bit here,” said resident Patricia De Silva.

“We've had people who have lost a spouse, and this is the time they have been able to release the clothes they've been holding on to - that's been very, very touching,” she said.

“It upsets me to think they have lost everything,” added resident Ian Langley.

“I'd like to think we could do a lot more to help them.”

“We will be coming out next week with some more information about the different ways people can volunteer,” said Auckland Civil Defence controller Rachel Kelleher at a press conference today.

“There are so many people wanting to help which is absolutely fantastic and what one of the key things is matching the needs with the skills being offered.”


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