A police officer and a companion hiked 6km over hills and
through flooded creeks to get much-needed supplies to a
pregnant woman and two children, trapped at home by
floodwaters on the East Coast.
Ruatoria policeman Constable Boycie Poi and his mate
delivered the supplies to the woman, who is 20 weeks
pregnant, and two young children, yesterday and were due to
return to the Ruatoria township this morning, Sergeant Regan
But the swollen Mata River and worsening weather could force
them to stay where they are in the mean time.
The woman lives on the outskirts of Ruatoria, about 130km
north of Gisborne, but the flooded river and nearby creeks
and streams cut all access to her property.
The wider Gisborne area has been pounded with 180mm of rain
since yesterday, and a heavy rain warning for the area
remains in place.
The decision to make the trek on foot was made after it
became clear the bad weather in the area prevented a
helicopter or boat rescue, Mr Horsfall said.
Mr Poi then hiked the 6km trek, taking enough generator fuel
and food to last about three days.
They arrived yesterday evening, reported the woman and
children were well, and stayed the night, Mr Horsfall said.
Mr Poi was an experienced hunter and tramper and both he and
his companion knew the Ruatoria rural area "like the back of
their hand'', Mr Horsfall said.
Meanwhile, the Mata River was not expected to drop in the
short term and the township was on standby for any further
Police are considering evacuating the pregnant woman and the
children when there is a break in the weather.