Update from the Cyclone Recovery Unit (CRU)#
A significant amount of progress has been made in the response to the North Island extreme weather events. The locally led recovery has by necessity been different in each area and has been responsive to the challenges and needs of each community.
There is a considerable amount of work needed to be done to ensure homeowners have the certainty they deserve, and that each region’s infrastructure can become more resilient to future events.
To ensure local authorities have the capacity to manage their recovery efforts, the CRU has distributed funds in the past two weeks, made available by Government in Budget 23, to support regional and local recovery structures.
The funding provided will be for the next two years and will enable local authorities to build on and implement the early work they have done preparing their regional recovery plans and future resilience work.
We’re committed to ensuring that all local authorities have the information and support they need to make and follow through on their decisions and to respond to their communities.
If you have any requests for government agencies or follow-up questions regarding actions arising in affected communities, please let the CRU know and we will follow up for you. You can contact the CRU at [email protected].
Appointments made to Government Inquiry into North Island severe weather events response#
The Minister for Emergency Management has announced further appointments to the Government Inquiry into the response to the 2023 North Island severe weather events.
Sir Jerry Mateparae, who was announced as chair the week before last, will be joined on the Inquiry by:
- John Ombler CNZM QSO, who has held numerous senior public service leadership roles including Deputy State Services Commissioner, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), and being one of the Controllers of the all-of-government response during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Julie Greene, who is based in Hawke’s Bay and brings over two decades of experience across the horticulture and rural sector within New Zealand, including senior leadership roles at Heinz Watties
- Rangimarie Hunia (Ngāti Whātua), who brings significant governance experience through her current roles as Director of Moana New Zealand, Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana Trust and Chair of Ngā Pūkenga mo Te Tai Ohanga (Treasury). She has also been Chief Executive of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Whai Māia.
The Panel will be appointed for the duration of the Government Inquiry, which is due to be completed in March 2024.
Hawke’s Bay residents can now burn cyclone waste#
Cyclone-damaged commercial horticulture and agriculture properties that have been impacted by flood-related mixed waste on their property, can apply to burn the waste under a new Order in Council. The Order in Council temporarily allows open-air burning of cyclone and flood waste in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council announced they are working together to help rural landowners who want to safely burn waste from Cyclone Gabrielle. In Tairāwhiti, the Gisborne District Council has guidance on how to apply.
Over $60 million provided to farmers and growers through recovery grants#
As of 7 July, 5,630 applications for farmer and grower recovery grants have been approved and paid, totaling $64.25 million in value.
The Government provided $74 million to help farmers, growers, and whenua Māori owners recover from Cyclone Gabrielle. The grants were available for urgent repair work, including fencing, and clearing silt to save trees and vines.
They included up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers to help with initial recovery, such as repairs to water infrastructure for livestock, and fencing up to $2,000 per hectare to remove silt from trees and vines, support clean-up, and minimise future losses.
Guide to the Future of Severely Affected Locations#
In a guide published by the Cyclone Recovery Unit, key aspects of the Future of Severely Affected Locations programme are explained including the general roles and responsibilities of agencies, the risk categorisation framework, the process and the Kaupapa Māori Pathway. The guide is intended to help local authorities communicate to stakeholders the Future of Severely Affected Locations programmes.
Guide to response and recovery support for the North Island Extreme Weather Events#
This guide from the Cyclone Recovery Unit highlights the services, funds, and helplines available to support communities affected by the North Island Extreme Weather Events. The guide is useful for people working in the community to help understand what support is still available to aid their response and recovery efforts.
Updates across government#
Ministry for Primary Industries#
The Ministry for Primary Industries has reported that recent rainfall has caused further slips and roading faults across the regions impacted by North Island weather events. As a result, recovery work has been delayed, with some recently repaired fences destroyed by further land movement.
The cyclone damaged Hikuwai no.1 bridge on SH35 north of Gisborne will be completely dismantled and transported away this month. To do this, the Hikuwai Bailey bridge will close from 7am Monday 17 July 2023 to 5am Thursday 27 July 2023. During this time, the Pourau Road bypass will remain open. During the closure, the crane will be disassembled and moved to the northern side of the river to remove the existing 31-metre-long beams from the old bridge. This will remove the risk of the Bailey bridge being damaged in future weather events. At the same time, surfacing works will be completed on the approaches at either end of the Bailey bridge.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment#
In the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment update they outline that 98% of Recovery Visas have been decided, Temporary Accommodation Service have deployed 23 relocatable cabins, a request for proposals to lease more relocatable cabins closed on the 6th of July and applications open at the end of July to the North Island Weather Events Primary Producer Finance Scheme.