Auckland Bishop to launch appeal after unprecedented flooding



Auckland Bishop Stephen Lowe is launching an appeal through the Catholic Caring Foundation after the region suffered flooding after unprecedented rainfall on January 27.

Auckland diocese general manager James van Schie said that further details of the appeal will be announced in the coming days. To donate, visit

“A phone tree is being activated to contact parishes, schools, and diocesan agencies today and tomorrow to check in on communities further to Bishop Steve’s communication on Saturday,” Mr van Schie said.

“Many weeks and months of work ahead for our community recovery  – including those areas outside of Auckland city.  We hold those who have lost their lives in prayer. Our diocese, parish, and schools will be part of this recovery,” he added.

Mr van Schie said that the Pompallier Diocesan Centre itself suffered from the flooding and power had to be cut on Friday, January 27. Diocesan staff were asked to work from home on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I’m pleased to report power is back just now! Water ingress in the PDC has mostly been cleared and dried but there may be more to do tomorrow,” he said.

Mr van Schie reported that all of the staff were safe, but some of them had been personally affected by flooding with damages to property and belongings.

A number of diocesan, parish and school properties had been damaged by leaks and flooding with “wide-ranging seriousness”.

Two units at the Liston Retirement Village in Hillsborough were immersed in floodwater, as was the kitchen behind the chapel.

St Joseph’s parish and school, as well as Rosmini College, in Takapuna were among those which sustained damage from floods and unrelenting rain.

The church’s administration office was flooded, affecting their computers and phones. Masses were celebrated at the weekend although they could not livestream the Sunday Mass.

There were slips on the primary school’s field perimeter and the playground bark washed out. The college’s gym was also flooded.

St Dominic’s College in Henderson, St Mary’s Primary School in Northcote and Te Unga Waka Marae in Epsom also suffered from Friday’s deluge.

“The property team are responding to building issues as quickly as possible and some issues have already been resolved. Our insurance broker put out an advisory for this event,” Mr van Schie said.

Photo: Pompallier Diocesan Centre (Wikimedia Commons/Properosity)


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Rowena Orejana

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