Weekly Update from the Cyclone Recovery Unit – 12 June 2023

Update from the Cyclone Recovery Unit

Latest news

Cyclone Recovery Taskforce Chair speaks to RNZ about support for communities

Sir Brian Roche, chair of the Cyclone Recovery Taskforce, featured last week on Radio New Zealand, providing an update on the recovery efforts following Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods. He acknowledged it has been a distressing and painful journey for many affected by the severe weather events, and that it will be a long road ahead for many, requiring support from local authorities, central government, and the private sector.

Insurance Council provides information on disaster recovery

The Insurance Council of New Zealand has released information on disaster recovery regarding Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods. The Council has answers to a range of areas – such as, the implications of being categorised by the Council for overall claims, the continuation of home insurance during community or property-level interventions, the availability of ongoing insurance, and the involvement of insurers in the categorisation process, among other topics.

New Emergency Management Bill introduced

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty introduced the Emergency Management Bill in Parliament this week, aiming to enhance Aotearoa New Zealand's emergency management system based on lessons learnt from previous natural disasters and emergencies. It clarifies roles and responsibilities at national, regional, and local levels, emphasises engagement with communities disproportionately affected by emergencies, and recognises the important role of Māori in the emergency management system.

Land categorisation map released by Hawke’s Bay

More than 1,400 property owners across Heretaunga-Hastings were last week emailed their provisional land risk categorisation. Meantime, Hawke’s Bay Councils released provisional hazard maps of category 1, 2 and 3 areas. The maps were prepared using approximate flood extents from air photos, rapid building assessments, contour information from LiDAR, photographs of flood damage and information supplied during public meetings and discussions with residents.

Applications open for silt and debris removal in the Hawke’s Bay

Commercial entities in Hawke's Bay can now apply for government funding to recover some of the costs of sediment and debris clean-up on their land following Cyclone Gabrielle, following  $62.6 million of government support for the recovery of sediment and debris dumped on commercial entities' land in the region. The Hawke's Bay Regional Council will administer the fund, and commercial entities can apply on the Regional Council's website until 30 June 2023.

Questions and answers

What will happen to areas currently categorised as Category 2?

For some areas property-level repairs will be required and flood protection changes to surrounding areas may be needed to protect properties from future flood risks. For many properties in this category, more information is needed to determine the best approach.

When will this process be over?

For those in Category 1 locations, once they are advised of this by their Council, they can get moving now to fix your property. For people with properties in Category 2 and Category 3, options for the future will be developed by Councils, using feedback from individual and community conversations about the categories.

How will mixed-use properties we dealt with?

The focus of the category 3 voluntary buyout offer is on residential properties, which may include the portion of a mixed-use property which is for residential use. Commercial properties, or the commercial portion of a mixed-use property, are not eligible for buyout offers under the programme announced by the government. Separately, the government is working with sectors, such as the horticulture sector, on possible targeted support for commercial operators, and on regional plans that will provide overall support for recovery and rebuild.

Updates across government

Waka Kotahi

The Hikuwai Bailey bridge is scheduled to open on 14 June 2023. Access past the damaged Hikuwai bridge is currently via a local road and access past the Mangahauini Gorge is via the constructed bypass. SH25A remains closed to all vehicles until further notice. The decision was announced on 9 May that the optimum solution to repair the 110m slip on SH25A will be a bridge. They are working with the preferred tenderer, with work expected to commence on the ground later this month. Timelines for construction will be confirmed in due course.

Ministry for Primary Industries

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor recently visited Tairāwhiti to assess the recovery progress, meeting with local farmers and rural community members. Sediment testing is underway in Northland, Tairāwhiti, and Hawkes Bay to determine soil nutrient levels and contamination, aiding farmers in decision-making. Indicative land categorizations were provided to affected Hawke's Bay residents, followed by a future community conversation on safety during extreme weather events. Fuel and fencing supplies were airlifted to Tahunga, with three more deliveries planned. Budget 2023 allocated $10.15 million for woody debris cleanup.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Immigration New Zealand has received 54 new Recovery Visa applications, with 52 applicants already arriving in the country, providing significant support for regional recovery efforts. The New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) has been actively assisting homeowners in Tairawhiti, Nelson, and Tāmaki Makaurau by offering on-the-ground support alongside the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS). In addition, the Temporary Accommodation Service is delivering five relocatable accommodation units to Wairoa this week. Regarding critical materials, the Critical Materials Taskforce has reported a stable situation over the past few months, with no new shortages identified.

One-page summaries

Published: Jun 12, 2023, 3:49 PM