Additional government support for Buller District flood recovery

  • Hon Kiritapu Allan

The Government is providing additional support to the Buller District Council to assist the recovery from the February 2022 floods, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan announced today.

“The Buller District has experienced two significant floods in short succession, resulting in significant impacts for the community and for Council to manage,” Kiri Allan said.

“The Government has been actively supporting the Buller District Council with its recovery since the first flood in July 2021 and we are continuing this work following these more recent events.

“In order to help Buller District Council cover infrastructure and waste removal costs relating to the February floods, Cabinet has agreed to provide $294,000 as well as allowing the Council to use underspend from an $8 million Government funding package provided following the July 2021 floods.

“New Zealand faces some of the greatest natural hazard risks of any country in the world, and a changing climate means that we can expect frequent and more extreme weather events.

“These events demonstrate the case for urgent action on climate change and why the proposed National Adaptation plan, which looks to support communities adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, is so important.

West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor said the Buller District, in particular, had faced a number of challenges that warranted additional Government support.

“The February event has placed an additional burden on a council who were already dealing with a significant recovery following the July 2021 flood event. And having a small rating base, the Council cannot absorb the costs of the floods easily,” Damien O’Connor said.

Kiri Allan acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of people across the District in supporting their communities.

“The Government will continue to support the council as the focus shifts from immediate recovery work to permanent repairs and longer-term resilience for the Buller District.

“AS well, a Future of Local Government Review is being undertaken to assess how local governments are operating, the future challenges they are facing, and how we can address them across the board.

“The last year has been a tumultuous time for the people of Buller, and I’d like to recognise the dedication and mahi of everyone who has had a hand in the multiple response and recovery efforts since last July.”

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