Monday, July 15, 2024

PM leads visit to cyclone-hit Wairoa

Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon has today hit the road to meet with local leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay.

The PM was joined on the visit by Cyclone Recovery Minister, Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister, Simeon Brown.

“One commitment in our Government’s 100-day plan is to meet with councils and communities to establish regional requirements for recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent major flooding events,” Mr Luxon said in a statement.

Today I was on the ground in Wairoa — one of the towns that was hit very hard by the cyclone. Mark Mitchell, Simeon Brown, Katie Nimon and I drove on SH2 from Napier so that we could see the damage first hand before meeting with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and community leaders.

“It was our chance to listen, talk about their priorities and help identify what actions we can take to support and speed up the recovery.”

Mr Mitchell said the visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements. 

“My focus has been to get on the ground to talk to people and find out what their needs are. People here know what they need, and it’s our job to remove any barriers and support them to recover,” he said.

“These visits are an important part of this Government’s 100-day plan. It is critical this recovery is locally led, with support from government. Today marks what will be the first of many ongoing meetings.

“These conversations will better inform and shape our understanding of what additional Orders in Council are needed to speed up recovery efforts. We hope to also identify further areas today where we can unlock or remove barriers to get things moving more efficiently. 

“The ongoing struggles these communities are facing is evident following the extreme damage and disruption caused by the cyclone.

“I was on the ground in the days after the cyclone and saw the devastation that was caused. For some people, life is back to normal, but for others, things haven’t moved on much. 

“There is a lot of work still to be done, and we appreciate that people want it to be done quickly. However, we also know this is a long-term recovery which will take time.

“I want to thank the community leaders for sharing their knowledge and expertise with us today. I can assure them that the Government is committed to delivering long-term, resilient solutions that will create a more stable network that can withstand future weather events.”

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