Govt pledges $8 million to flood recovery

A submerged car in Westport. Photo: Supplied / NZ Defence Force
A submerged car in Westport. Photo: Supplied / NZ Defence Force
The Government yesterday announced an $8 million package to help Westport recover from last month's severe flooding.

More than a month on, at least 200 homes remain uninhabitable and an estimated 20% of affected households are uninsured.

A Buller District Council request for relief went before Cabinet on Monday.

Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi said yesterday the $8 million would provide financial security for the council and enable it to continue with recovery operations while maintaining its "business as usual" services.

"This flooding event has profoundly affected many people and their families.

"People have lost their possessions, their homes are damaged, their livelihoods have been impacted, and their lives have been turned upside down," Mr Faafoi said.

Numerous government agencies have been working with council to deliver services such as temporary accommodation, financial assistance, and mental health support.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said with a small rating base, the council could not absorb the costs of the floods easily.

West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor said the Government was very aware of the challenges facing West Coast councils, and Buller in particular.

"This flood event was unsustainable for a small council like Buller."

The package will fund immediate costs associated with recovery, support for a community hub and navigation services, and help to purchase skilled advisory services to advise ministers on the financial situation of the council.

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