The Government expects to contribute millions of dollars in funding towards the Northland recovery and response costs, Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye says.
“Yesterday, local MP Mike Sabin and I visited a number of Northland communities and saw first hand the impact of the storms and flooding. I was pleased to hear of the superb efforts by council staff, the emergency services, communities and volunteers to assist people during the storm.
“Though the thresholds were not met for a formal declaration of a state of local emergency, in such situations the Government assists the local councils and their civil defence teams in a range of areas.
“Measures are now in place to help people, and I encourage communities to contact either central or local government agencies to access this support.”
The following Government assistance has been offered:
- Hardship grants through MSD have been made available to affected residents;
- MSD staff have been assisting local council teams in building and needs assessments for affected residents in isolated communities such as Aranga, Moerewa, Kaihu and Karaka;
- In the primary sector, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has approved the situation as a medium-scale adverse event, which triggers a range of Government assistance including funding to the Rural Support Trust;
- Flood-affected farmers have also been offered assistance by Revenue Minister Todd McClay through Inland Revenue’s income equalisation discretion scheme;
- Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has confirmed that NZTA will provide emergency works funding through the National Land Transport Fund to enable it and local authorities to respond to the immediate effects of the flooding, including managing temporary road closures and establishing detours, and to allow for damaged roads to be repaired.
“I have also announced that the Government is contributing $100,000 to mayoral funds in the Far North and Whangarei, which will include council contributions,” Ms Kaye says. “These funds are focused on meeting urgent needs including help with cleanup and household items costs.
“Additionally, in all natural disaster emergencies, central Government supports local authorities with direct financial assistance as needed. The Government will fully reimburse councils for the immediate response costs incurred in accommodating, transporting, feeding and clothing displaced residents, and the repair of essential infrastructure.”
Some reimbursement may be made for recovery costs following damage assessment and repairs of essential infrastructure assets, river management systems, and other community assets.
“This support means that ratepayers do not have to meet the full costs of such an event,” Ms Kaye says.
“The recovery period may take some time. It is important for the people of Northland to know that Government is here to support them in the recovery.
“The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management will continue working with representatives from the councils to ensure that assistance is available for those who need it, and I will be contacting local authority leaders and representatives in the next few days to determine any further requirements.I will also be providing my Cabinet colleagues with an update next week.
“I have been hugely impressed by the local Northland Civil Defence Emergency Management operation and the collaboration with central Government.”
Those requiring assistance should contact the Far North District Council on 0800 920 029 or the Whangarei District Council on 0800 932 463.