The Government and Gisborne District Council have agreed to a cost sharing package to further support the Tairāwhiti region’s recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle.
“I am pleased work can now get underway to provide certainty to the most affected homeowners, while also increasing flood protection and rebuilding the region’s roading,” Cyclone Recovery Minister, Grant Robertson said today.
“Cyclone Gabrielle and ongoing heavy rain has caused considerable damage across Tairāwhiti, including cutting roading links to the region. This package will support transport initiatives with $125 million to rebuild roads and increase regional resilience.”
The package also includes $64 million for flood protection work to help protect category 2 properties.
“Some of this flood mitigation work may take time to complete but the council can now get on planning. The agreement is subject to community consultation which the council will begin shortly,” said Mr Robertson.
“The Crown will also facilitate a zero interest, 10-year $30 million loan for the Gisborne District Council. This recognises the cashflow challenges the council faces as it remediates the worst of the flood damage. The Crown covering the interest costs of this facility is valued at about $17 million.”
Like the Hawke’s Bay agreement, the Government will support the council to purchase Category 3 homes by contributing half the net cost of any buyout. The net cost is the agreed buyout value less any insurance payments the homeowner receives.
“We are expecting the Government’s contribution to the buyout to be up to $15 million,” Mr Robertson said.
“I want to take this opportunity to commend the mayor, the council and local Iwi for their collaborative approach to planning the recovery for Tairāwhiti. Continuing this inclusive approach will bring meaningful results for the people of the region.
“We also have a parallel pathway for dealing with whenua Māori in category 3. This pathway recognises there are unique legal provisions governing Māori land, and duties that sit with the Crown rather than with councils. We are continuing to engage with whānau, hapū and iwi on these issues. I expect to make announcements on this in the coming weeks,” he said.