Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Hawke’s Bay Councils adopt cyclone buy-out policy

Hastings District Council and Napier City Council have adopted both a Cyclone Gabrielle Category 3 Voluntary Buy-Out Policy, and the Long Term Plan (LTP) amendment required to enable the voluntary purchase of eligible Category 3 residential properties in Hawke’s Bay.

Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said the decision was a critical step forward for people across the region severely impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Adopting both the policy and the LTP amendment will enable Hastings District Council and Napier City Council to move forward with making buy-out offers for residential Category 3 properties once we have finalised the agreement with Government,” the Mayor said.

“For our current provisional Category 3 property owners whose residential properties are confirmed as Category 3, having a voluntary buyout programme in place will allow them to make informed decisions and provide certainty for their future.

“While this funding package is still subject to final negotiations with the Government, once secured, it will not only enable the Category 3 Voluntary Buy-Out programme but will also provide funding support for our urgent recovery priorities, including flood mitigation and urgent roading and bridge repairs across our district.” 

The decision to adopt both the policy and the LTP amendment required to implement it followed public consultation on the amendment which closed on 5 September.

Napier Mayor, Kirsten Wise said public consultation was undertaken with residents and ratepayers.

“We received a significant amount of feedback over the consultation period, including input from property owners in provisional categories who helped to inform the Category 3 Voluntary Buy-out Policy,” she said.

“We are grateful to everyone who took the time to submit information and feedback into this process.”

Both Mayor Hazlehurst and Mayor Wise emphasised the importance of moving at pace to provide a way forward for Category 3 property owners in their respective regions.

“Over the coming weeks, Hawke’s Bay councils will continue to work with the Crown to finalise the funding agreements under the regional package.”

“Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will continue to review the feedback from the community on the land categorisation process, which will allow them to finalise properties in Category 3 areas,” said Mayor Wise.

“Together, our region’s councils will progress the steps required to enable buy-outs to start,” says Mayor Hazlehurst.

“Our priority remains providing our communities with as much certainty as possible, to enable our region’s most severely impacted people to move on with their lives,” she said.

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