Kia ora koutou
Welcome to issue #23 of Recovery Roundup!
Stafford St: This week a blessing of Stafford Street took place and the homes are now ready for occupation with some tenants moving in this weekend.
Navigators: The Navigators wound up their six month contracts yesterday, a reduced number of Navigators have been reemployed to continue providing the same support in the community that they have been over the past half year. Our Navigators offered some heartwarming words in reflection of their time in these roles, read them below.
Granity slips: Geotech assessments are being carried out in the area to determine required actions.
Reefton reservoir access track & landfill: Works are ongoing on both fronts with remediation of the storm damage work along the Reefton Water Reservoir access track, and MBC continue to clean up the exposed historic landfill.
Red & yellow stickered homes & rates remission: We once again urge homeowners of red & yellow stickered properties to ensure that repairs are signed off by a licensed tradesperson and registered so that red & yellow sticker classifications can be removed from property records.
Owners of red & yellow stickered homes may be eligible for exemption from residential rates payments for a certain period of time, or postponement of payment allowance.
Kawatiri Men’s Group: A community support initiative following the July 21′ flood, Kawatiri Men’s Group is a peer-led group facilitating a space for men to share their experiences and find companionship and support to live better, healthier, and safer lives for themselves, friends and family, and their communities. The group meets fortnightly at 6pm, Tuesdays.
For further details and all other updates this week, read more below.
Ngā mihi, have a great weekend!
Did you miss last weeks update? Catch up on all the news here.
Blessing of Stafford Street
Following the completion of the three flood recovery homes in Queen Street a fortnight ago, the five homes in Stafford Street are now ready for occupation, with just the sealing of the driveways and landscaping to be completed once residents are in the homes.
The blessing of the homes was held yesterday and was led by Te Rua Mason of Ngāti Waewae (pictured). Present were the Community Hub staff and the Poutini Waiora navigators, Ned Tauwhare (Ngāti Waewae) and Sound Frames carpenters who have worked on completing the fencing this week. Also present were representatives from Kāinga Ora, MSD, DHB, Poutini Waiora and staff from local NGOs.
The homes will be handed over to Ray White Westport today, who are managing the tenancy of the homes on behalf of Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS). Some of the new occupants will begin to move in this weekend.
granity slip investigation
If you see some high-vis vests in and around Granity in the coming days it is part of some Geotech work to survey the slips in the area.
A number of slips have occurred on land behind Granity, Ngakawau and Hector as a result of February 2022 floods.
The purpose of the two-day geological assessment by England & Company is to help the Buller District Council better understand the stability of the slips and surrounding land, and establish what actions might be required.
Reefton Reservoir Access Track repairs
Buller District Council Manager of Infrastructure Delivery, Eric de Boer, says work is ongoing on the Reefton Water Reservoir access track, above Donovan St.
“The team are currently carrying out remediation of the storm damage work along the Reefton Water Reservoir access track,” says Mr de Boer. “This will also include an extension of the track side drain down the access track to the highway. Remedial planting is planned for the exposed face left from the water pipeline installation works above Donovan Street. This will be done by environmental contracting firm MBC.
“Longer term, an improved drainage network for storm water along Donovan Street, directing water to the State Highway culvert, is being developed by the Council stormwater team. An improved highway culvert for SH7 is being designed and installed by Waka Kotahi.”
“Engineering firm WSP have inspected the geotechnical stability of the access track above Donovan Street, and currently hold no concerns for the structural integrity of this section of the reservoir access track.”
Old Reefton landfill clean up work ongoing
The main work to clear rubbish from an historic landfill near Reefton that was breached in the February flooding event is complete, although additional clean up work will continue.
The dump, which had not been in use for a number of years, was inundated by the rising Inangahua River. The flooding undermined the riverbank and sent rubbish into the water.
Buller Flood Recovery programme manager Vin Smith says the main effort to clear the waste by primary contractor MBC Environmental is complete, but rubbish was discovered washed further downstream than initially thought.
“MBC will continue work cleaning up the remaining rubbish, mostly smaller household refuse, over the coming months. It is hands-on work that we want to see experienced contractors carrying out, as it’s a difficult environment where Health and Safety is key.”
Managing your own repairs: red & yellow stickered houses
Flood affected home owners in the Buller Region are moving ahead with their repairs, but they’re being reminded of the importance of ‘doing it by the book’.
Recent data shows 53 houses are recorded as being repaired (as at 20 March 2022). This means the home owners or the repairers have provided Buller District Council (BDC) with a sign off of repairs from a Licenced Building Practitioner and an Electrical Certificate of Compliance.
Once this information has been received by the BDC, the building inspector can then remove the yellow or red sticker status from the property. It is important to have any red or yellow sticker classifications removed from property records.
west coast regional council rates rebate
Properties that were uninhabitable because of the flooding in July 2021 or February 2022, or were affected by the landslide in Waimangaroa, may be eligible for a rates remission from the West Coast Regional Council for the period of time they were out of their homes.
West Coast Regional Council has written to all known red or yellow stickered property owners, but ratepayers who weren’t contacted but believe they may be eligible should complete an application form.
For more information about rates remission or postponement go to www.wcrc.govt.nz or call 0508 800 118. Application forms are also available at the Community Hub.
COMMUNITY HUB NAVIGATORS’ NUMBER REDUCES BUT SERVICE CONTINUES
The Navigators who have been working under the Community Hub for the past six months, wound up their 6 month contracts yesterday. A reduced number of Navigators recommence under new contract as of today, to provide continuation of services in support of flood affected residents.
We are extremely grateful for the support our Navigators have shown in our community. The learning and understanding they have demonstrated in navigating through a wide range of systems to advocate for people in our community has been admirable and heart-warming.
Some quotes from our Navigators:
“I have found it humbling and a privilege to help an support people and appreciate people letting us into their lives.”
“Naa rou rou naa takurou rou kia ora I te iwi. With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.”
“He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata.”
“It was nice to have people from different walks of life come together and work together, so well, in six months. I feellike I’ve made life long friends in six months.I now know where to go to support people.”
“It’s been rewarding being able to lift someone’s spirit when they are at their lowest. I have left them feeling positive,relaxed and in a better space.”
“I feel privileged to have been able to offer support to the community and walk alongside people during their journey.”
“I am at a loss for words -there is not one thing I didn’t love about my time with all of you beautiful wahine and tane. My respect and aroha I have and feel for everyone of our team is beyond words. It has to be one of the most fulfilling jobs I have ever had and I will miss all who are moving on arohamai.”
“It has been a huge honour to be involved in the whole process with the Navigator service. Helping one person might not changethe whole word, but it could change the world for one person.”
kawatiri men’s health group meeting 5th april
Fortnightly meetings are held at Number 37 Community House (Peel Street, Westport) 6pm Tuesday’s, with a light supper provided. Next scheduled meeting is next Tuesday, 5th April.
If you are interested in attending these meetings or know someone who might be, please contact email@example.com or phone 027 318 8397.
Follow their Facebook page to stay up to date with news and information from the group.
buller recovery steering group process
If you’re wondering what timeframes the Buller Recovery Steering Group is working to, we can shed light on that.
Information about the process being followed by the Buller Recovery Steering Group for long-term flood resilience options for Westport and Buller, is available here.
Updates will be added to the Steering Group page of this website in due course.
NEED HELP? IT’S ONLY A PHONE CALL AWAY…
If you want to sit down and chat, come to The Community Hub at 175 Palmerston Street, Westport – all welcome.
Whether you have been impacted directly or are interested in learning more about the recovery effort, pop down for a cuppa and a chin wag.
Community Navigators based at the Hub can provide you with support and assistance with the process of getting you and your whānau back on track.
The Community Hub is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am-4.00pm. Phone 0800 768 348 for assistance outside normal opening hours.
Mental Health Support:
Need to Talk? For wellbeing support you can talk to a counsellor free of charge, call or text 1737 any time of the day or night.
We know Buller’s farmers have had it tough too following the floods.
The Ministry for Primary Industries funds support for our rural communities following an adverse event through the Rural Support Trust. The Rural Support Trust are funded to provide events, support and counselling for affected farmers. You can find out more at: www.rural-support.org.nz (regions/West Coast).
Rural Mayoral Relief fund – affected farms will be contacted about the fund criteria and application process in the coming weeks.
Floods have affected many business owners and their staff. The Buller Flood Recovery website is a good source of information and resources from a range of agencies, see this page for more information. You can apply for business support by filling in and submitting this form.