Government provides support and certainty to displaced homeowners#
The Government is delivering certainty to displaced homeowners affected by the recent North Island extreme weather events, providing an interim payment to support them when their insurance payments for temporary accommodation run out.
The interim payment will be available from 4 September 2023, made weekly and directly to homeowners, and set at 100 per cent of the average rent declared by Accommodation Supplement recipients in the recipients’ region.
Displaced homeowners who are eligible for the interim payment can receive a lump-sum payment covering them from as early as 1 June 2023, to ensure that there is not a gap in support during this difficult time. More information about the Temporary Accommodation Assistance is available here.
Social Sector Recovery plan launched to future-proof weather impacted regions#
The government has announced a plan to ensure greater coordination, provision of and access to support in regions affected by the extreme weather events earlier this year.
The Social Sector Recovery Plan provides a framework for initiatives and funding to support activities identified in Regional Recovery Plans, as well as initiatives that need to be delivered immediately whilst the plans are still being finalised.
The Plan aims to minimise negative psychosocial and socio-economic consequences, preserve and enhance resilience of communities to respond to future adverse events, and support Iwi-led recovery for whānau and hapū within their rohe of the extreme weather events.
The initiatives funded include:
- Targeted funding for community activities, such as local events, to support communities (particularly rural and isolated communities) to build optimism, increase their protective factors and build resilience through coming together;
- Personalised support and referral services for people impacted by land zoning changes;
- Funding for schools and kura to provide teaching and tutoring programmes, as well as support for iwi/community providers to target new programmes to Māori and Pacific students;
- Funds to support community and Iwi organisations to build infrastructure and capability that increases future resilience, including preparedness for future events;
- Additional support for volunteers and community workers suffering burnout in Te Tai Tokerau, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay;
- Additional funding for groups outside of affected areas that have capacity or resource pressures from supporting people who have migrated from affected areas;
- Education and training for providers on how to support whānau, rangatahi and tamariki with rain anxiety and mental health concerns through upskilling, specific content and new resources for existing mental wellbeing programmes;
- The provision of translation, interpretation, and other services to improve accessibility, including culturally appropriate and accessible formats.
Funding available for silt removal from Tairāwhiti commercial entities#
Gisborne District Council has invited eligible commercial entities across their region, to apply for funds to remove cyclone-related sediment and debris.
The Government is providing $7.41M funding for this work. There will be three funding rounds, with applications for the first round closing on 4 August.
The funding needs to be used for eligible work, that has been or will be used to cover costs occurring between 12 February 2023 to 30 June 2024.
Update from the Cyclone Recovery Unit (CRU)#
The North Island extreme weather events have had a significant impact on whenua Māori including Māori freehold land. To address the specific needs of whenua Māori, the Government has put in place a Kaupapa Māori Pathway where whenua Māori has been assessed by local authorities as in Category 3.
The purpose of the Pathway is to inform the development of custom-made solutions for affected iwi and Māori residential landowners given whenua Māori considerations are relatively more complex due to whakapapa, collective governance and ownership arrangements, and the specific regulatory context.
The Pathway recognises the good faith partnership between the Crown and tangata whenua and includes timely and relevant engagement and consultation on recovery from the extreme weather events. It also acknowledges the Crown’s responsibility to actively protect Māori rights and interests in respect of their whenua, marae and taonga.
Since early June, the CRU has been undertaking engagements with Māori landowners and local iwi across Hawkes Bay and Tairāwhiti to begin their journey on the Pathway.
These engagements have so far focused primarily on the impact of risk categorisation on their land. As the recovery progresses, the intention of these engagements is to support the development of options to mitigate the cyclone and flood impacts on affected whenua and whānau.
The CRU supported by other agencies is leading engagement to identify the issues and potential solutions for Māori landowners and residents of category 3 whenua Māori. These engagements are being led by our Deputy Chief Executive Herewini Te Koha.
Anyone can contact the CRU at [email protected] for more information about the Kaupapa Māori Pathway and other information to support their recovery.
Updates across government#
Ministry for Primary Industries#
The Ministry for Primary Industries has approved:
- 60 expressions of interest to the NIWE Time-Critical and NIWE Isolated Rural Communities Funds for funding totalling $22.5 million
- 52 expressions of interest from the Time-Critical Fund totalling $21.4 million
- 8 expressions of interest are being funded from Isolated Rural Communities, totalling $1.1 million.
The following initiatives have already received NIWE funding:
- Seafood Sector Support Network Trust (FirstMate) received $310,252 for the Seafood Adverse Events Support Programme in the Cyclone Gabrielle affected regions of Northland, Tairāwhiti, and Hawke’s Bay.
- National Institute of Water and Atmopheric Research (NIWA) received $2 million to create a model to understand the sediment impacts from the Cyclone Gabrielle on its inhabitants.
- Rural Support Trust received $1.9 million to co-ordinate local recovery services, clean-up efforts, wellbeing events, extension workshops, and provide other specialised support.
- Post Your Support received $500,000 to support farmers and growers who have had fencing and or growing structures damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The cyclone-damaged Hikuwai no.1 bridge on SH35 north of Gisborne is currently being completely dismantled and transported away. The Hikuwai Bailey bridge is closed until 5am Thursday 27 July 2023. During this time, the Porau 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#
No update this week.