Kia Ora!

Buller Recovery bring you issue #39 of Recovery Roundup…

Where to now for flood recovery?

In our last update, we provided a recovery snapshot of that first tough year since the July floods. We covered off a range of things that had been done and supports offered. Now we are looking more to the future – what will happen next, where to go for ongoing support and what form the Buller Flood Recovery team will take in the coming months.

Work in the pipeline

In March this year, a business case was submitted to central government to request funding for the emergency repairs to the infrastructure damaged in both the July and February flood events. An additional $10.6 million was granted to Buller District Council (BDC) for infrastructure repairs that were outside policy for Government funding. The total budget for eligible repairs (100% funded by central government) is $17.1m.

In addition to this, BDC was also granted additional funding for the emergency repairs to the Westport and Carters Beach water supply damaged in the February event which has a total budget of $1.6m.

The infrastructure work, underway or set to get underway, is outlined here:

Wharf damage

Repairs to the Holcim and Kawatiri wharves will enable fishing and bulk shipping vessels to continue to use the port.


The floods caused a build-up of debris and gravel/silt in the navigable part of the river and port.

Approximately 240,000 m3 of debris, gravel and silt that needs to be removed to return the river to a state that it can be serviceable to the bulk carriers expected to be using the port in the future.

The Kawatiri dredge (owned by BDC) will commence dredging the channel in August.

Holes have opened up in the decking of the Ex-Holcim Wharf due to underlying flood induced failure and significant deflection has occurred in wharf piles.


The flooding from both the July and February events flowed through and overtopped the inner revetment wall of the north tiphead at the mouth of the river. The overflow undermined the groyne by removing supporting rocks and base infill. Remedial work is required to prevent a major breach of the tiphead.

The Buller River shipping channel, with the tipheads where the river joins the sea.

Reefton stop bank

The Reefton Campground is a community asset. The stop bank protects the reserve and Reefton town. Remedial work is required to repair the flood damage, which will then continue to protect the campground and township of Reefton from flooding from the Inangahua River.

Works to the Reefton stop bank will help prevent flooding from the Inangahua River.

Reefton Landfill

The northern bank of the closed Reefton Landfill was scoured away by the Inangahua River during the severe February weather event. Buller District Council plans to re-cap the disturbed landfill and landscape the area.

Three waters

The Three Waters Portfolio (Stormwater/Wastewater/Drinking Water) sustained a significant amount of damage to its key and critical infrastructure during the floods. Emergency works have been carried out, but further works are required.

The work package includes:

  • Cleaning, clearing and access (suctioning out underground pipes, clearing above ground assets)
  • CCTV inspections (inspecting underground pipes and logging issues)
  • Above ground assets (pumpstations etc requiring repairs after being submerged in the floods)
  • Underground assets (repair of underground pipes and infrastructure)
  • Floodgates and outfalls (specifically relating to Stormwater and Wastewater discharge points)
  • Other repairs not covered above.


Whilst assessing the repair package for Three Waters several projects have been identified as ‘betterment’ projects – projects that would benefit from betterment whilst carrying out the overall repair programme. These largely relate to Westport stormwater and wastewater improvements.

More detail on the progress of these projects will be provided at a future date.

Ongoing Support

The Buller Flood Recovery will continue to operate on a reduced basis, with many of its workstreams and roles being absorbed back into Buller District Council. However, there will still be a small team overseeing community support, financial management and communication, including communicating the results of the current ‘Tell us how you are going’ survey. We will continue to communicate recovery information and initiatives through our website:

In the meantime, a number of organisations and agencies are available to provide support. 

The Flood Recovery Community Hub and Poutini Waiora Navigators

The Community Hub and Poutini Waiora Community Navigators was a collaborative community response to the July 2021 flood. Homebuilders Trust, Buller REAP, Te Hā o Kawatiri, Poutini Waiora, #37 Community House and Buller Flood Recovery came together to provide a meaningful support response to those who had been impacted by the floods.

The Navigator programme is expected to wrap up in its current form at the end of September 2022, but this may change based on an ongoing assessment of the needs of the community. In the meantime, the Navigators will continue to work with clients on a transition plan, so that no clients are left without support.

Contact: Community Hub 0800 768 348

Note, the Hub is here to help, but our people aren’t trained mental health professionals. If you or someone you know needs urgent help, contact your GP or phone one of the emergency helplines such as Lifeline (0800 543 354). To find out more, go to:

Accommodation – TAS

Registrations for MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) are still open for flood affected households in the Westport community who may need accommodation support. To be eligible, you must be a homeowner or tenant whose primary place of accommodation was damaged in the July 2021 flooding or flooding events that have occurred in Westport since.

Anyone who feels they may be eligible for TAS support can register at or by clicking on this link West Coast flooding » Temporary Accommodation ( 

You can also ask about TAS at the Community Hub in Westport.

As at 11 July 2022, there remain 40 households who are placed in TAS accommodation. A further six households have registered a future need.

Based on current registrations TAS estimates around 24 households will still require support as of October 2022, which is when the Alma Road temporary accommodation development (20 homes) is expected to be completed, pending the consent and construction process.

This image from May shows the land being cleared for the Alma Road development.

Recent works on the Alma Road site to install drains.

Insurance – RAS

Residential Advisory Service (RAS) provides free, independent insurance advice. If you’re stuck with your insurance claim or are unsure of the implications of a cash pay-out you may have received, you can contact them at: or call 0800 777 299.

Other support and information

The Community Kitchen provides a free dinner for flood-affected residents on Tuesday nights. Contact #37 Community House to find out more (03 789 6000).

The Buller Mayoral Relief Fund still has funds available for those affected by the July and February flooding events. The grant is intended to provide short-term financial assistance for essential needs not covered by insurance. Find out more at: (community hub)

Red and yellow placarded homes. It’s extremely important to register repairs with Buller District Council for the sticker status to be updated in your property records. Go to: (built) or to find out more.

Understanding the Kawatiri Business Case – Future Resilience of Westport

As many of you will know the Kawatiri Business Case sits with central government for consideration. The Business Case outlines a mix of Protect, Avoid, Retreat and Adapt (P.A.R.A framework) options and priorities, the full range of solutions that are needed to make Westport more resilient to future floods. The Business Case calls for co-investment from the government and was put together in partnership by Buller District Council, West Coast Regional Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae.

Find out more about Westport’s future flood resilience options contained in the Multi Tool Co-investment Business Case drafted on behalf of the West Coast Regional Council and Buller District Council.

The Kawatiri Business Case, submitted to Min. Nania Mahuta on 30 June, sets out the proposed integrated package of long-term measures to improve Westport’s flood resilience.

The 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.

A key component of the Business Case is the Westport Flood Protection project – a structural flood protection option for Westport signalled in the Regional Council’s Long-term Plan in 2021.

Hear from:

Richard Kempthorne – Chair, Buller Recovery Steering Group

 John Hutchings, Hutch Consulting, Kawatiri Business Case Lead

 Matt Gardner, Land River Sea Consulting Ltd, river modelling expert

 Gary Williams, G & E Williams Consultants Ltd, river engineering expert

Pre-register for this free community event

Tell us how you’re going survey

The ‘Tell us how you’re going’ survey aims to find out how the people of Buller are going to help ensure the right supports are in place.

Paper copies will be at the Community Hub in Westport or phone 0800 674 646 if talking is the best way for you.

The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete and is open to everyone in the Buller District aged 15 years and over.

Attention Red/Yellow Stickered Homeowners

There’s still time to complete the Operation Outreach survey checking the progress of red and yellow stickered home owners in Buller.

For a copy of the survey email Shayne Barry at: or download the form below.

You can collect forms (or drop off completed ones) at the Community Hub.

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