Kia ora koutou

This week there was a community meeting for homeowners of red stickered homes. The purpose of the meeting was to provide information on the insurance claim process, how to deal with insurers and where to access additional support.

A meeting for homeowners of yellow stickered homes is planned in the near future.

At the meeting Bob Dickson spoke to the group about the recovery progress to date and the role of the Westport Flood Recovery team. The team is working closely with the community and all key stakeholders to enable affected residents to access the support they need, through the Community Hub and other activities.

At the end of the meeting there was a Q&A opportunity with Darren Wright (Residential Advisory Service), Sean Judd (BDC Group Manager Regulatory Services), Richard Knudson (BDC Team Leader Building) and other flood recovery network members.

Residential Advisory Support (RAS) is a free service funded by MBIE and is available for free legal, case management, advocacy and support for our flood affected residents. Darren from RAS, raised the following key points for people to be aware of:

  • Seek advice about your insurance claim before you sign:
  • Before signing anything – make sure you fully understand what type of claim pay out is being offered and the implications. The same applies to acceptance of any quotes and build estimates. RAS have brokers who are very experienced in working with insurance companies and assessors. They are available to help you access the decision-makers in insurance companies and can assist you in having constructive conversations to get a good outcome.
  • There is a perception that the rebuild will occur quickly, however the reality is that some residents will be unable to return to their home for up to 9-12 months. This estimate is based on information about similar events in other regions.
  • Darren from RAS will be in Westport on a weekly or fortnightly basis (dependant on demand) for as long as our community needs access to this support. If your claim is stuck and you would like to meet with Darren when he is next in Westport, register at the Community Hub and they will be able to set up an appointment for you.

Peter Campbell from Rotary Westport also spoke at the meeting and informed the group that Rotary are working with Red Cross, Anglican Church, Shop Zero and other local community groups to mobilise support in a variety of ways. To date, Rotary members have assisted impacted homeowners with rubbish removal, heavy lifting, helping with unpacking of new appliances etc. They can help with coordinating the donation of household items including beds, linen and other essential items. If you want to connect with Rotary for flood related support, please connect with the community hub in the first instance as they are the coordination point for specific requests.

Relief for some families displaced by the flood will arrive on Monday in the form of three Kāinga Ora houses arriving at the Buller District Council site on Stafford Street. Relocated from Christchurch, two further houses are set to arrive on Wednesday. 

The allocation of the temporary houses and respective tenancies will be managed by MBIE Temporary Accommodation Services (TAS), with input from the Flood Recovery Welfare team on a case-by-case basis.

The Buller Flood Recovery team is working with Government and local organisations to ensure you can access the help you need to rebuild and recover after the July 2021 Westport flood. Read the Flood Recovery Action Programme or visit to find out the latest flood recovery information and how we may be able to help.