Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins has announced a Cabinet Committee and regional Ministerial leads to help coordinate the Central Government response and recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle.
Mr Hipkins said the new Extreme Weather Recovery Committee will be chaired by Grant Robertson as Minister for Cyclone Recovery, with Barbara Edmonds as deputy.
The Prime Minister and Emergency Management Minister, Kieran McAnulty, will also be members.
“The Government is fully aware of the scale of the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle and that the rebuild will come with a multi-billion dollar price tag,” Mr Hipkins said.
“We are providing an initial $50 million support package for businesses, farmers and growers, as well as injecting an extra $250 million to help Councils fix roads, get transport links back up and access into communities.
“But recovery is going to take a long time, so the Committee will help steer the work needed over the coming weeks and months to get affected regions back up and running again.
“I’m putting in place Ministers for each affected region, who will work directly with local councils on the local response. I want to acknowledge the work of Mayors and Regional Council Chairs to date in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle. They will continue to play a leading role in the recovery.”
Mr Hipkins said a key lesson from the Christchurch earthquakes was the importance of local knowledge and input into decision-making.
“Working alongside Mayors and Chairs, these local leads will ensure local voices are heard and acted on,” he said.
The Ministerial leads are:
- Northland: Minister Kelvin Davis
- Auckland and Coromandel: Minister Michael Wood
- Waikato: Minister Nanaia Mahuta
- Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty: Minister Kiri Allan
- Hawke’s Bay: Minister Stuart Nash
- Tararua and Wairarapa: Minister Kieran McAnulty
Minister Megan Woods will be the member of the Committee responsible for infrastructure and housing. Deputy Prime Minister, Carmel Sepuloni, will be the member responsible for the social sector and Māori Development Minister, Willie Jackson and Associate Agriculture Minister, Meka Whaitiri, will also be members – each of whom will have responsibilities overseeing the recovery in these areas.
“The Extreme Weather Recovery Committee will meet for the first time next week. It will then meet regularly to ensure the needs of communities continue to be met, and be responsible for bringing to Cabinet a plan for the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle,” Mr Hipkins said.
The taskforce announced yesterday, led by Sir Brian Roche, will feed into and report back to this committee, he said.
The response to Cyclone Gabrielle will still be led by local civil defence and supported by the National Emergency Management Agency.