The Government has approved $15 million to raise about 200 homes at risk of future flooding. More than half of this is expected to be spent in the Tairāwhiti settlement of Te Karaka, lifting about 100 homes there.
“Te Karaka was badly hit during Cyclone Gabrielle when the Waipāoa River flooded, breaching its stopbanks in multiple places and destroying properties,” Chris Hipkins said.
“The funding I’m announcing today is to lift at risk houses in the township to reduce vulnerability and mitigate significant risks. The mana whenua of Te Karaka, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, have driven this project, and I want to thank them for the work they have done on this.
“This work is critical for Tairāwhiti iwi and homeowners who have been displaced due to the recent weather events. While broader and more complex resilience measures may take a bit longer, raising houses provides an immediate and tangible solution that significantly reduces risk.
“One of the outcomes of the initiative is its positive impact on the affected Tairāwhiti communities. Elevated houses enable residents to return to their homes, allowing individuals to recover emotionally and materially in a more stable environment.
“There is more work to do in cyclone and flood affected regions and the Government continues to support those regions as they rebuild and recover,” Chris Hipkins said.
The $15 million announced today is from the $100 million funding announced as part of Budget 2023. This fund was specifically set aside for practical flood protection infrastructure like stopbanks as well as other local measures that can protect communities from flooding.
Along with the approximately 100 homes in Te Karaka, the funding also provides for a further 100 homes across the Tairāwhiti to be lifted, as determined by the Gisborne District Council.