Community asked about Government support package

29 September 2023

Consultation on the Government offer to support our cyclone recovery gets underway on Monday.

Council decided in August to support the intent of the offer and agreed to consult with the community on the proposal. The Government offer of $204 million includes $125 for roading and bridge repairs, $64 million for flood protection, and $15 million for the 50/50 cost sharing for the purchase of properties deemed too dangerous to live in due to flood or land instability risk caused by the severe weather earlier this year. Council also negotiated a $30 million interest free loan for ten years.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz says this is an important decision for the community as it impacts us all.

“Under the Government’s land categorisation framework, these severely impacted areas are called Category 3 properties. So far, we have 47 of these properties in the region.

“The Government support package will enable us to offer to purchase these properties to ensure these whānau can move on with their lives. They’ve been out of their homes for over seven months now and if they choose to sell, then this will give them some certainty for their future.

The terms of the Government support package require Council to contribute 50% of the costs of purchasing properties or acquiring a property right for mixed-use Category 3 properties. Mixed-use land is where a house is located on land used for another purpose, for example farming or horticulture.

In order to advance the support package Council is also proposing to amend its Revenue and Financing Policy in order to set up the new activity of purchasing these Category 3 properties.

“The terms of the package also stipulate that the package has to be either accepted or rejected as a whole. It’s not possible to break it up into it’s various parts.

“Whether we accept the Government’s offer or not, there’s likely to be an increase in rates to meet additional recovery costs.

“When negotiations with the Government began, Council was facing a total repair cost of $1.1 billion. This is mainly made up of roading costs.

“The negotiations aimed to secure the best support package from Government, to help repair our infrastructure and enable our communities to be safe and connected, while keeping impacts on rates as low as possible.

Councillors will be at a number of hui across the region during the next two weeks to answer questions people might have about the package and about recovery in general.

The details of the consultation and the form to have your say are on our engagement website

Feedback closes 5pm Monday 16 October.