Friday, 22 September 2023
Funding of $15 million was announced by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Wednesday to lift up homes in Tairāwhiti and keep them safe from future flooding.
The announcement has been welcomed by the region’s recovery organisations, that include Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngai Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Porou and Gisborne District Council.
The funding will be used to enable around 200 homes across the region that were flooded by water to be raised above the flood level height, with approximately half expected to be in Te Karaka.
“We are truly thankful to this government for the continued support that they have provided to us in our time of need,” said Pimia Wehi on behalf of her Te Karaka Community and Te Aitanga a Mahaki.
“We will never forget this. This funding will go a long way towards giving my people peace of mind.”
Mayor Rehette Stoltz says being able to raise homes means this will add considerable resilience for those houses in affected areas.
“We thank the Government for this much-needed financial help.
“I am heartened to hear this news, especially because it will help the Te Karaka community and others across the region who were hardest hit by Cyclone Gabrielle from extensive flooding.
“We’d like to acknowledge Te Aitanga a Mahaki for their hard work in Te Karaka, and all the hapū and iwi leads who have supported whānau right across the region in the road to recovery.
“We know many are still not able to move back to their homes and have been in temporary accommodation for more than seven months.
“It will make a huge difference to many in our community.”
Te Aitanga a Mahaki through Toitū Tairāwhiti Housing Limited and Council will work through agreement details for the Resilient Homes initiative along with the specific planning for eligible properties. More information will be made available, and homeowners engaged in the coming weeks.
A further $1.2m was also granted to enhance flood monitoring telemetry and communication systems to improve real-time data that can be used for warnings and analysis of flood modelling. Installation is planned to be completed over the next 12 – 18 months.