Kia ora koutou

Welcome to our first Recovery Roundup, a weekly update on activities in the Westport Flood Recovery.

Two key focuses for the Recovery team this week have been working with our partner agencies on welfare and temporary accommodation.

Our welfare team are working closely with Poutini Waiora, Buller REAP, Homebuilders, No 37 Community House and Te Ha o Kawatiri on the Community Connectors programme. Through the programme individuals/whānau affected by the flooding can be provided with a relationship-based support service to empower them, plan their recovery and be connected to services they may need to strengthen their situation over time. This is achieved by facilitating timely and coordinated access and referral to information/support services. Over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing the Community Connectors as they get into their important mahi.

In our built environment function, we’re working closely with the Temporary Accommodation Service and Kaianga Ora to identify options for medium and long term temporary accommodation, and the logistics of making this happen.

Our sincere thanks to the team from Residential Advisory Services (RAS) who spent time at the Community Hub this week. RAS is a free, independent and easy to use service for residential property owners who are facing challenges in getting their home repaired or rebuilt after it has been damaged in a natural disaster.

On Wednesday Buller District Councillors visited the Community Hub to hear about the work happening there, and visited a local couple in their flood damaged home.

When the Civil Defence state of emergency ended we put in place a “local transition period” under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act. A local transition period means the Recovery Manager maintains some powers to coordinate personnel and resources for the recovery effort. The transition period was due to expire today. This morning the Recovery team reviewed the upcoming work programme and recommended to Mayor Jamie that the transition period be extended for another 28 days. This will support the continued management, coordination and direction of recovery activities to better assist with the recovery process. Mayor Jamie signed the extension this afternoon, and a local transition period will remain in place until Friday 29 October 2021.

On Friday afternoon Bob met with a number of our new Community Connectors at the Community Hub. The team is gearing up for Operation Outreach which starts next Wednesday, with house and welfare checks at red and yellow stickered properties. This operation had to be postponed while we were in alert levels 4 and 3, so we’re looking forward to getting it underway.

Noho ora mai