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As Auckland grapples with the cleanup from last month's severe flooding, a couple of local rugby league clubs face an uncertain immediate future with the new season just around the corner. 

While most of the region's rugby league clubs emerged unscathed from the weather event which impacted more than 5,000 properties, the Richmond Bulldogs – who last year had former Kiwi international Nigel Vagana as their chairperson – and south Auckland club the Manukau Magpies suffered widespread damage.

Last week, the NRL announced a fundraising initiative in partnership with Harvey Norman New Zealand and the Nine Network, which will see the three organisations donate $1 each to the Auckland Council Emergency Relief Fund for every fan in attendance at the NRL Harvey Norman All Stars, to support flood victims. 

The donations will go towards funding essential items, accommodation costs and covering the extra financial burden caused by the flooding. 


This video shows the full extent of the water which hit the Richmond club in Auckland during the floods, badly damaging the club house. 🎥 Richmond Rovers RLSC

Posted by Kiwi League Central on Friday, February 10, 2023

Richmond club secretary Anna Lundon told that in addition to the damage caused by the deluge of water, the biggest area of concern is now a sinkhole which has opened up on the club's main field, rendering it unusable.

"The sinkhole covers about a quarter of the field, so that is a worry for us," Lundon said.

"We have just gone in and started ripping up the carpet in the club. When you walked in there, the mud was all across the walls and bathrooms, and the smell was terrible.

The sinkhole which has opened up on Richmond's main field after the flood. Photo: Supplied
The sinkhole which has opened up on Richmond's main field after the flood. Photo: Supplied

"The real damage was done in a storage area which had our junior uniforms in there. 

"Although they are only material things, it's the space we'd like to get back for our teams." 

Flooding at Auckland's Cornwall Park rugby league grounds. Photo: ARL
Flooding at Auckland's Cornwall Park rugby league grounds. Photo: ARL

While Lundon said the club isn't aware of any members who have been significantly impacted personally, it's a different story for Manukau.

"Most of our whānau were impacted by this, some with whole homes under water and uninhabitable," chairperson Nesha Tuki said. 

Our club was completely submerged. Inside the clubrooms the flood got up as high as my chest.

Nesha Tuki Manukau Magpies chairperson

Across the harbour on Auckland's North Shore, the Glenfield club's field was completely submerged, although their clubroom was spared thanks to being elevated on a second floor. 

In partnership with the local community centre, the club swung into action by gathering to help local residents, while chairperson Simon Watson offered up their office space to other sporting codes who had their headquarters damaged. 

For more information on the Auckland Council Emergency Relief Fund, visit here.

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