Westport Flood Recovery

31 August 2021

Kia ora! We hope you are all enjoying the sunshine and the little bit more freedom we have now in Covid Alert Level 3.

The Buller District Flood Recovery Team continued working in our bubbles throughout Level 4 to ensure some things could still move forward.

One great result was securing the exemption for local trades people to continue some repair work under Covid Alert Level 4 and Level 3. There are 83 local trades people out restoring damaged homes, who otherwise would not have been able to work due to lockdown.

The move to level 3 does allow us to get a bit more recovery work and planning underway. This week our team is looking at new Health and Safety protocols so we can really ramp up work when we get to Level 2. Once these are drafted, we will seek the Government’s views to ensure they meet health regulations.

We are also looking at the short term housing currently available for displaced people and when those options might start to become exhausted. We continue to work with The Temporary Accommodation Service who are sourcing a range of living arrangements while people wait for their homes to be repaired or rebuilt.

Alongside this, we are looking at the rate and nature of insurance claim settlements around the District. The team is also gathering information on how many people were uninsured so we can begin considering what we can do to support them.

The Recovery Team is also planning to get ‘Operation Kōwhai’ underway as soon as it is safe to do so. This is a further welfare check across yellow stickered houses to ensure that they are safe, that people living in them are okay and to note any further changes to buildings.

A key objective this week is being ready to get the Community Hub open as soon as we move to Level 2. The Civil Defence Welfare team is currently looking after calls on the 0800 768 348 number and are providing the same support as the Hub.

If you want to know what to do next or just need to have a chat to get through the next few days, do reach out. We will be able to help or put you in touch with someone who can.

The Community Hub team is working with Ngāi Tahu, the West Coast District Health Board and local partnerships to further develop the Navigator programme. Funding is now in place and Poutini Waiora will be the overarching managers for the service It will be delivered through local organisations – Homebuilders West Coast Trust, Te Hā o Kawatiri, Buller REAP and the Potikohua No. 37 Trust.

We will announce more about this programme when it becomes operational in the next few weeks.

Finally, we want to thank the agencies which continue working to keep the recovery moving. The Temporary Accommodation Service, Ministry of Social Development, Residential Advisory Service, insurers and health organisations are continuing to provide housing, financial and wellbeing support.

If you are struggling with anything, do call us. We do not want people to feel isolated or in distress.

For more information about all the services available, check out the Buller District Council Flood Recovery page or watch the Flood Recovery Update video on the council’s YouTube channel.

Kia kaha!

Virtual Meeting on YouTube.