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(L-R): Te Paea Waipouri (Tūrangi Foodbank), Maggie Stewart (Tūrangi Foodbank, Chairperson), Kiso Eti (TLC), Anne Terry (TLC)

Tūrangi Foodbank stocked up by TLC

27 March 2023

The foodbank at Tūrangi received a welcome donation from The Lines Company (TLC) in the form of a month worth of supplies, to be distributed among the community following Cyclone Gabrielle.

Chair of the Tūrangi Foodbank, Maggie Stewart, was grateful for the much-needed boost to their store cupboard following the severe weather event.

“There’s been a big increase in demand for our service in the community since the cyclone hit,” says Stewart.

“A lot of whānau have returned to Tūrangi from the Hawke’s Bay, putting additional pressure on households, so it’s incredible TLC have brought food in to Tūrangi to support those in need.

“We’ll be repackaging a lot of the groceries donated to ensure they stretch as far as possible while the need is so high.”

The Tūrangi Foodbank operates form the Senior Citizens Hall, Te Kapua Park weekdays from 10am through to 3pm. They encourage anyone in need of food assistance or in self-isolation to contact them by calling 0800 926 040 or emailing turangifoodbank@gmail.com.

Anne Terry, TLC’s Customer and Community Engagement Manager, arranged for $5,000 in supplies to be personally delivered to the community cause.

“Our role in the community extends past the lines and cables which feed electricity into the region.

“We’re here to grow communities with energy and help people thrive by supporting communities in need.

“We do this through financial support, like this, and our community sponsorship rounds – as well as through the supply of electricity to ensure homes and businesses can continue to operate.”

TLC’s electricity infrastructure in parts of the Tūrangi area was devastated with a forest block in Motuoapa clocking winds at over 180kph as Cyclone Gabrielle cut its path, just one of several sites where flying trees cleaned out power lines and poles.

Since then, the electricity distribution business has been working to replace 60 poles and an estimated 7km of power lines. At the peak of the storm, more than 4000 of its customers were affected after its three high voltage lines in National Park, Lake Taupō, Tūrangi and Tokaanu were all damaged.

Up until last week, the network was running with the support of 3 diesel generators supplying around 800 customers. Those customers have now been reconnected to the network.

In total, TLC has identified 15 major rebuild projects directly stemming from the cyclone. The cost of repairs, while not on the scale of what has been seen in around Napier and Wairoa, will still be substantial and there is an inevitable knock-on effect as planned line renewals and other maintenance programmes need to be pushed out into coming years.

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