Napier flooding | Nov 2020

Napier emergency centre

HB Civil Defence Emergency Management Group has set up a centre to provide information and advice to flood-affected Napier residents.

  • The centre is at 128 Kennedy Road (the old Marewa Pharmacy), with representatives from local and national agencies.
  • Visit the centre to find out what support is available to help you recover from the floods.
  • The centre is open from 10am to 7pm for the next seven days, but hours may change depending on demand.
  • You can also ring the emergency welfare number – 0800 422 923 – to speak to someone about your welfare needs.

Staying healthy after a flood

Jump to:

>  Protecting your health
>  Drinking water
>  Food safety
>  Hand washing
>  Medications and pharmacies
>  Welfare support
>  Flooded sports fields, parks and gardens
>  Recreational water
>  Shellfish
>  Mosquitoes

Protect your health after a flood Screenshot of Returning Home guide

  • Flood water can contain lots of nasty bugs that could make you and your family sick. 
    Before you start the clean-up process, read this guide on how to clean up, drain and dry out your house safely after flood damage.
  • People should keep away from flood waters and from playing or swimming in the puddles, which may have been contaminated by sewage.

Drinking water

Napier City Council have determined there is no evidence of water contamination and no need to issue a boil water notice at this stage. They are continuing to test the water regularly and additional chlorine has been added as a precaution to the drinking water supply. (via 10 November Media Release)

Food safety

  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water, including fruit and vegetables from your garden.
  • Discard foods that have been in the freezer without power that have defrosted.
  • Extensive advice on how to salvage food items and utensils is available on the Ministry of Health website.
  • See also: shellfish

Hand washing

  • Always wash your hands with any soap and water after handling articles contaminated with flood water and after cleaning up from the flood.
  • This is extremely important to help prevent the spread of disease. Flood water is potentially contaminated with faecal matter from animals and sewage and can contain lots of nasty bugs that could make you and your family sick. 

Medications and pharmacies

  • Pharmacies are open. Tamatea Pharmacy have experienced a power cut so call ahead to check before visiting.
  • If you can’t leave your house to get your medication, contact your pharmacy.
  • If you need to stay away from your home, pack your medication and essential health items. 

Welfare support | Where to get help

Click here to view a full comprehensive list of where to get help following the floods in Napier (PDF)

  • If you have urgent welfare needs such as food and clothing because you've been displaced by the flooding, call:
    0800 422 923
    Someone will be at the end of the line to take your details, so Civil Defence can get you the help you need as soon as we can. Please only call this number if you have no other options.
  • If you have no-one to stay with, call:
    0800 422 923
    Someone will take your details and get you the help you need.
  • If you are feeling anxious or frustrated:
    Talk with friends, family and whānau. If you need a counsellor, call or text 1737.
  • If you need financial assistance for food or other costs:
    Call the Ministry of Social Development on 0800 559 009

If you can get help from friends and family, please do so.

Remember if you need urgent help because you are in danger, call 111. 

Flooded sports fields, parks and gardens

Any sports fields, parks, or gardens which have been flooded should not be used until 48 hours after all surface water has disappeared.

This time allows for the action of the fresh air, the wind, and sunlight to decontaminate most of the bugs (bacteria, parasites and viruses) that would have been left behind by the flooding.

See also: hand washing.

Recreational water

As a public health precaution, it is routinely recommended that people avoid swimming in rivers, streams and harbour areas for at least 48 hours after a heavy rainfall.

For flood events, this should be at least 72 hours after rivers have returned to normal flow and colour. Click here for more information on swimming sites in Hawke’s Bay.


Shellfish beds are likely to be affected by contaminated flood water.

We recommend people do not harvest shellfish from Hawke Bay until 7 December. 

Click here for more information on the shellfish warning.


The recent flooding in the district may lead to a temporary increase in the number of mosquitoes and flies.

Residents are advised to use insect repellent to help avoid being bitten and to tip water from containers around their properties.

Click here for more information on mosquitoes and stopping them from breeding.