Kia Ora!

Welcome to issue #38 of Recovery Roundup.

In this weeks news:

Flood Recovery – A year in review: We’ve collected and collated some stats around community initiatives and support provided to flood affected people in our community over the past year.

Kawatiri Business Case Summary: Information pertaining to the Kawatiri Business Case has been loaded onto this website with detailed readings available for download.

Sir John Kirwan event: Westpac ambassador Sir John Kirwan presented in Karamea and Reefton this week, sharing his words of wisdom for coping in tough times.

See below for more information on news and updates this week.

Ngā mihi, have a great weekend.

Did you miss last weeks update? Catch up on all the news here.

Flood Recovery snapshot: a year on

It is a difficult thing to talk about recovery for Buller a year on from the July floods when this week alone the weather has again shown its might and reminded us of how fragile our world can be.

As everyone who was here at the time knows, in July 2021, it began to rain and this seemingly common occurrence in Westport caused devastation like nothing we had seen before. Our mighty Kawatiri River burst its banks changing its course, and the lives of people in the homes that it flooded. The flow breached Westport’s existing flood defences, with 826 properties and over 2000 people requiring evacuation. Some remain in temporary accommodation a year on.

This, and the subsequent February flooding events aren’t something that anyone can forget. The Buller Flood Recovery team was put together in August last year by Buller District Council to help support the recovery. We’ve put together this snapshot to reflect on some key areas of work that have been our focus in that time – primarily, working with and supporting partner agencies to look after people. Read more…


The Kawatiri Business Case outlines a mix of Protect, Avoid, Adapt and Retreat options and priorities, the full range of solutions that are needed to make Westport more resilient to future floods, both now and in the future. This is known as the P.A.R.A. framework. Read more…

Click the link above for a short version of the current Kawatiri Business Case Summary.  

Pictured: River modelling expert Matt Gardner presenting a technical Q&A session on the Kawatiri Business Case

looking after yourself with westpac ambassador sir john kirwan

JK’s personal journey with depression has led him to be actively involved in mental health awareness campaigns in New Zealand. For his incredible commitment and work in this space JK was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours. And in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, JK was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to mental health and rugby.

A world class winger, JK’s contribution to rugby, both as a player and a coach, has been immense. JK is one of the highest try scorers in international rugby union history and still holds a couple of NZ rugby records. The other side of the story is while he was scoring tries and becoming a rugby legend, he was also battling depression.

Pictured – John at the Last Resort Karamea this week, with Carol Higgs (left) and Lynda Higgs.


NEED HELP? PH 0800 768 348

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 is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am-4.00pm. Phone 0800 768 348 for assistance outside normal opening hours.

On behalf of the Flood Recovery Team, we wish you a safe and sunny weekend.

Noho ora mai