Reconnecting our communities

Helping Buller recover



The Community Hub and Navigator service was set up after the July 2021 flood and the following floods in February 2022. It was initially intended to run for a year but was extended in response to ongoing community need. Now, almost 18 months later it is time for the Community Hub on Palmerston Street to close and for the Navigators to say goodbye.

The Hub’s final day was 27 January 2023.

We’ve dedicated this page now on providing information on where to go for help and suport as the Social Recovery arm of Buller Flood Recovery has largely wound down.


[Image caption]

A closing event was held on Friday the 27th of January 2023. The event was attended by Navigators past and present, representatives of local NGOs that participated in the Hub’s success along with Flood Recovery staff (Stephanie Newburry and Penny Bicknell) and Acting BDC CEO Rachel Townrow (centre). 

Community Hub and Navigator Service

The Community Hub on Palmerston Street, and the Navigator Service have now closed (as at Friday 27 January 2023).


About The Community Hub

The Community Hub and Navigator programme was managed by Homebuilders West Coast Trust from July 2022 to January 2023, working with a fantastic team of people from a range of local organisations –  Te Hā o Kawatiri, Buller REAP, and Poutini Waiora, who managed the hub and navigators for the first year following the July 2021 floods.

The role of the Community Hub and Navigators:

  • Provide ‘triage’ and appropriate needs assessment
  • Deliver more intensive case management functions as required
  • Offer a range of wellness programmes
  • Community connection and information sharing sources
  • Coordinate and deliver community activities and events.
  • Iwi engagement and recovery plans developed with the support of the recovery team

Snapshot of demand for the Hub and Navigator Service over its 18 months:

  • Between 300-400 people were visiting the Community Hub per month in the months that followed the July 2021 flood event. The total number of visits was just short of 3,500.
  • At its peak, the navigator service was supporting 153 households and in total helped 215.
  • At its peak, the Community Hub and Navigator programme employed 13 local people in 10 FTE roles across five NGOs – Poutini Waiora, Homebuilders, Buller REAP, Te Ha O Kawatiri, and No.37 Community House. 

The Hub was initially set up for 12 months with $1m of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) funding. Based on need, an addition $500,000 was sought from Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) lotteries to take the Hub through to the end of January 2023.

Furniture for the Hub was donated by Bathurst Mining, and Mitre 10 provided a $10,000 contribution towards the setting up of the hub.

Where can I get advice on repairs/rebuild/accommdoation issues?



  The Residential Advisory Service (RAS) ( provides free, impartial advice for people with rebuild as well as insurance issues.

Phone 0800 777 299 or 03 379 7027




 The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) is still taking referrals for people directly affected by the floods (red and yellow-


To find out more, you can call the Matching and Placement team on 0508 754 163 or register online



If you still have a red or yellow placard on your house and want to find out about the process to remove that, our checklist is here to help (


Key contacts for support in Buller

Homebuilders West Coast Trust                03 788 8065

Poutini Waiora  03 789 7551

Age Concern 03 789 7659

West Coast Women’s Refuge 03 789 8025

Number 37 House 03 789 6000

PACT 03 789 6519

Plunket 027 2535801



CSC Disability Action 027 807 9874

Emerge Aotearoa 027 254 1562

Cornerstone Family Support 03 768 4290

Buller Community Health & Addiction Services    03 788 9234

Buller Health 03 788 9277

Coast Medical 03 789 5000

West Coast Primary Health 03 768 6182



Salvation Army Community Corps 03 789 8085

Tu Pono Te Ha O Kawatiri 021 09199987

Westport Newcomers Network 021 128 2575

St Vincent de Paul 03 789 6661


Police 111

Police non emergency 105



National Numbers

Need to Talk text 737

Work & Income 0800 559 009

Poutini Wairoa 0800 333 170

Oranga Tamariki 0508 326 459


West Coast Women’s Refuge 0900 208 339

Victim Support 0800 842 842

Buller Community Health 0800 75 76 78

Citizens Advice Bureau 0800 367 222

Healthline 0800 611 116

Youthline 0800 376633 txt 234






Mental Health Support

If you’re feeling distressed or worried about how you’re feeling physically or emotionally, reach out to friends or whānau and contact your GP or other healthcare provider for advice. You can also contact the organisations below for help or to find extra support:

It’s important to seek help if you’re feeling distressed

  • Need to talk? (Free call or text 1737)
  • Lifeline (0800 543 354)
  • The Depression Helpline (0800 111 757)
  • Healthline (0800 611 611)
  • 0800 Whats up (0800
  • Samaritans (0800 726 666)
  • Youthline (0800 376 633, free text 234)
  • Need to talk? 1737
    Need to talk? 1737 is a free four-digit phone and text number designed to meet the needs of anyone who wants to talk to a counsellor. 1737 is not tied to a specific mental health issue or condition. It is free to call or text from any landline or mobile phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained mental health professionals are available to respond to calls, texts, webchat and emails. Call or text 1737 any time for 24/7 helpline
  • Lifeline (includes Suicide Crisis Helpline Tautoko and Kidsline)
    Lifeline’s mission is to reduce distress and save lives by providing safe, accessible, effective and non-judgemental services. The service works specifically to increase awareness and understanding of suicide prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand, resourcing people with effective skills to support others.
  • 0800 LIFELINE (0800 54 33 54) or free text HELP (4357) 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 82 88 65) KIDSLINE 0800 54 37 54

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