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Funding for our future from the Budget

Friday  19 May, 2023

The announcements in yesterday’s Budget will help Tairāwhiti recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and the cumulative harm from previous events.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz says she was pleased to hear the Budget focus on a no-frills approach to rebuilding communities as well as improving resilience for our future.

“I appreciate what a tough Budget this must have been for Minister of Finance Grant Robertson to deliver considering the unexpected billions in costs associated with Cyclone Gabrielle.

“In the months since we came out of a National State of Emergency on March 14, the Recovery Centre has mapped out how we can recover, and this funding will go a long way to achieving that.”

Mayor Stoltz says the Initial Recovery Plan for our region includes immediate funding of $555 million to ensure our communities can rebuild what is broken to become safe and connected.

A further $613 million is to build resilience into the future to ensure communities are safe and protected.

“We look forward to more clarity around what the $6BN National Resilience Plan announced yesterday will mean for our region as this will include roads.

“This funding is on top of what the Government has already delivered to repair basic infrastructure to provide flood resilience to at-risk communities.”

Mayor Stoltz says she was also heartened to hear in the Budget that part of $10m would be used to introduce community-led mental health into every school in Tairāwhiti.

“We all know the mental toll these events have caused our community and we’re happy to hear our children will have this support at school.”

Tairāwhiti’s road to recovery has identified immediate costs in the following four categories

  • Built environment (covers transport, water, solid waste and flood protection infrastructure, community facilities, emergency response and cleanup)
  • Natural environment (covers assessments and analysis, environment-enhancing programmes)
  • Social environment (covering community engagement resources, housing navigation services and employment and retention training)
  • Economic environment (covers cost recoveries, crop losses, infrastructure costs)

Mayor Stoltz says the focus is on developing a regional community-led recovery plan.

“This phase will emphasise the importance of whanāu, hapū, iwi and community being at the centre of engagement while the recovery wraps around to ensure whanāu and communities live the lives they value and are safe, connected and protected.”