Message from the Mayor

Kia ora koutou

I just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

What a year it has been!

I am immensely proud of the Westport and Buller community, and the way you have pulled together in the face of adversity.   Firstly with the impact of Covid on our economy, and community, then the devastating July floods.  I’m also mindful of the stress the farming community have endured in what has continued to be a very wet season post flood with excellent support provided by the rural support trust, MPI and rural professionals.

The generosity and kindness towards each other during these difficult times is both humbling and a real source of inspiration for me.

Things are looking good for the new year, and there is plenty of positive momentum building in the recovery effort.  For example, last week’s announcement that the Government will fund $17.08m for the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) to build a village in Alma Road.

This signals the Government’s continuing commitment to the people of Westport, and the recovery of the area.  Most importantly it gives affected residents some certainty, and the comfort of knowing that when, they need it, these new houses will be there for them.

We have also just received a generous donation of 24 whiteware appliances that will go into the eight new Stafford & Queen Street Temporary houses.  We expect to have affected residents move in to these homes early in the new year.

The Mayoral Flood Relief Fund is in a healthy state and is open to applications from flood affected persons. The assessment panel would welcome deserving applications for assistance in the new year. If you need support through what has been, and still is a challenging time, you can pick up an application form from the BDC or the Community Hub. Remember, our Community Navigators are on hand to assist you with your application, as well as support to access other services related to the flood recovery.

On behalf of the people of our town and district I would like to thank everyone who has gone above and beyond in their support of our recovery efforts, in particular the staff at the Buller District council, the Buller Recovery team, the Community Navigators, countless volunteers & community groups, the teams at TAS, RAS, and the construction industry, many of whom have come from afar to help us.

It has been a tough journey, and one that is not yet over.  Please take some time out over the next few weeks to relax with whanau and friends.  Recharge the batteries, and look forward to the coming year, and maybe what contribution you can make to our community’s recovery in 2022.

Ngā mihi


The Elf on The Shelf Hunt competition was a great success. All entries, completed or partially completed went into the draw to win prizes.

Check out the event page on Facebook to see all the wonderful “selfie with an elfie pics” and view the winning entries!

A huge shout out to @BullerREAP for helping us come up with some Christmas fun for our hapori (community) and to the Tindall Foundation for helping us afford all these amazing prizes!

There’s even a $100 New World gift voucher up for grabs!

Were you our lucky winner?

Find out here.


Haier New Zealand will supply 24 new appliances for the eight new Stafford & Queen Street Temporary houses. 

The generous donation came via an approach by Lindy Andrews, from Geotech engineering firm Tonkin & Taylor, who was involved in pro-bono work with the Council after the floods. Read more…


The TŪMANAKO project Kawatiri/ Westport is now complete.

The finished product looks fabulous and local tamariki and rangatahi have really enjoyed participating in the project alongside Mr G and Milly, learning a lot of new skills along the way.

More on the artwork and story here.


We have compiled a list providing some ideas including online resources for activities to keep kids busy over the Christmas break, as well as suggestions for family activities within the Buller and Westland regions.

Read more…


All are welcome at The Community Hub. Whether you have been impacted directly, or are interested to learn more about the recovery effort, pop down to the community hub for a cuppa and a chin wag.

The Community Hub will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period, from 24th December – 5th January.

For more information on Community Hub, Health & related services over the the holiday, click here. We have included a handy list of local Medical Centres change of hours here.

On behalf of the Flood Recovery Team, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year.

Noho ora mai