The Government is providing significant financial support to assist removal of cyclone-related sediment and debris in the Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti regions, Ministers announced today.
“This latest funding will help councils manage the cost of the post cyclone clean-up. This includes collection, processing, removal, and disposal of sediment and debris,” Associate Minister for Cyclone Recovery Barbara Edmonds said.
“It’s part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to help communities, including farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners and others, recover from the cyclone.
“We know it’s important to the regions that the recovery is locally led, supported by the Government. Local authorities will administer the funding and be able to decide how best to direct it.
“Growers have been particularly badly affected and we’ve been listening carefully to them to work out how best to structure the assistance they’ll need to recover. At the same time, officials have been working alongside local authorities on funding allocations.
“We recognise that this is a huge job and want to continue to support local communities to recover and rebuild.
“Based on official advice, within the funding for councils and commercial properties, $133.2 million has been allocated for Hawke’s Bay and $38.8 million for Tairāwhiti.
“The exact arrangements for funding for whenua Māori are being finalised but a specific allocation has been set aside.
“For commercial properties, funding will be provided through local councils in the form of grants. Criteria have been set, including that the first $40,000 will be fully funded by the Crown, including any funding already provided through earlier support programmes.
“Funding above that will be cost-shared on a 50:50 basis and capped at $210,000. Work that businesses have already undertaken through their own funding will be able to be counted as part of their 50 per cent contribution.”
“Silt and debris removal is a complex and time-consuming task. Once it’s been removed from properties, it needs to be processed and disposed of safely at council facilities,” Minister for Local Government, Kieran McAnulty said.
“This funding ensures there is somewhere for material to go. It will cover eligible related clean-up costs councils have already incurred.
“Councils can choose to use the funding to remove debris from residential properties, particularly if silt and debris is blocking access.
“Cyclone-rebuild will be an important driver of investment in coming years. We know more support will be needed.
“We will also continue to work with communities outside of these regions that have been impacted by the Cyclone with the clean-up and recovery process to help them get back on their feet,” Kieran McAnulty said.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said funding silt removal was the next step along the way to helping orchardists and farmers re-establish their livelihoods.
“We moved quickly to get grants to farmers and growers so they could get on with the clean-up in February and March. This new additional funding will help those severely impacted by silt,” Damien O’Connor said.