A local man is being praised after he saved a number of animals, including a chained dog from drowning in the Edgecumbe floods that have devastated the Bay of Plenty region.
Dwayne McGuire told Fairfax that his heart sank when he got call at work at 9am saying his town was being evacuated.
The Edgecumbe resident borrowed a local's boat so he could get to his children who were at home.
He arrived to find his home was completely flooded, with household items floating out the door.
"The fire guys saved my kids. They got there in time. I just can't thank them enough," he told Fairfax.
Mr McGuire wanted to stay and help those who rescued his children, so he pulled out his dinghy and sailed house to house helping emergency services pick up stranded people and animals from their homes.
"We got to one house and there was a dog chained up and he just had his snout above water. We saved him and a lot of other animals as well," McGuire told Fairfax.
In Kawerau, locals Jason Hubbard and Kipa Fowell were also praised after forgoing work to help the elderly evacuate their homes.
"Some of our old people were huddled up and scared, we got them dry and eased them onto the boat and to safety. We made about 30 or so trips back and forth getting our old people safe," Mr Fowell told Fairfax.
The pair also returned to save a number of animals.
Mr McGuire said the emergency service crew have been incredible, and thanked them for saving his children from the floods.