October 02, 2023
Slow progress on Wairoa rebuild
The chair of post-settlement organisation Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa says they’ve had to invoke their settlement terms to get action on fixing or replacing flood-damaged housing.
Leon Symes says 123 homes were red-stickered after stopbanks failed during Cyclone Gabrielle in February, and many whanau have had to move in with relatives or leave the district.
He says there has finally been agreement between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and councils in the five cyclone-affected areas to release $14 million in funding, but the eight month delay has been frustrating and the trust was forced into stop-gap measures.
“We’ve managed to work through and push a little bit of essential home repair funding through TPK, doing some of the basic electrical checks, plumbing work and some of that basic stuff to allow us to provide a foundation to receive that funding once tht categorisation has changed and then get on with it,” Mr Symes says.
Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa needs to build 55 temporary cabins for whanau before getting on with building permanent housing, and it’s also consulting on ways to build long term resilience in the town’s infrastructure.