February 27, 2023
Emergency housing priority as Kahungunu looks at rebuild
Iwi leaders from Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay are meeting ministers this week to discuss what can be done to clean up after Cyclone Gabrielle and who pays.
Ngati Kahungunu chair Bayden Barber says the most immediate issue is emergency housing, with hundreds of houses red or yellow stickered.
A large number of whanau are sheltering in marae and emergency centers.
The iwi is talking with councils about fast track approval to set up cabins and shipping container-type accommodation on marae, and he’s also looking forward to meetings with ministers Willie Jackson, Pene Henare and Grant Robertson.
“Councils can do so much, ratepayers can do so much, but it’s probably going to be a central government bill that needs to be paid. We will be having those discussions. Post-settlement groups are all putting in our own money but the rebuild is going to cost millions, hundreds of millions,” he says.
Mr Barber says people now have plenty of donated clothes and kai, and the need now is for heavy equipment like diggers..