Around 50 cars still missing after North Island weather events

Wairau Valley flooding in January, 2023.

Car wreckers say they're still hunting for vehicles that are missing after flooding from devastating weather events that hit the North Island.

Around two months on from the Auckland floods and just over a month since Cyclone Gabrielle, Jonothan Ellerton, head of salvage at Manheim Australia/New Zealand said crews have more work to do.

"There's probably 40 or 50 (vehicles) that we've got still outstanding that we're going to have to do a bit of hunting around to find, but we anticipate that we will find the vast majority of those cars," he said.

With the combined devastation of both weather events writing off more than 8500 vehicles with Manheim alone, the company says this disaster is easily the biggest it has dealt with since the Christchurch earthquakes.

Ellerton said due to the scale of the weather event, it's likely many vehicles are yet to be spotted on farms, or in areas that are difficult to access.

"The significant volume of water in the events can see those vehicles carried quite considerable distances from where they were first picked up and deposited in far flung locations that you don't expect them.

"(They) could be buried under silt, may never be found, or may not be found for years."

He also said it was important they're found due to potential impact on the environment.

"Part of our job is to make sure that those vehicles are collected and moved on and gently remind them to be recycled or crushed or whatever."

People who find missing cars are encouraged to get in touch with police.


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