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$14.4m to support Kaikōura earthquake recovery

Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has announced additional support of $14.4 million for Kaikōura’s earthquake recovery efforts today.

“This new funding will help repair essential infrastructure and recognises that Kaikōura has a small council and ratepayer base,” says Mr Guy.

“The region suffered around $20 million of damage to assets such as water pipes and bore holes after the earthquake. The Government will pay its share of 60 per cent of repair costs upfront by providing cash advances of up to $12 million to the council.

“This is a change from the normal practice whereby councils usually pay upfront for repairs after emergencies like this and then the Government reimburses 60 percent of the costs.

“A small council like Kaikōura District simply does not have the cash reserves to pay upfront so it makes sense for the Government to help out.

“On top of this, another $2.4 million has been set aside to help the council upgrade damaged infrastructure, rather than just replacing or repairing it.

“This betterment funding means the council can build in extra capacity and extra resilience, and even add new assets to take into account the changing needs of the community, the growing economy and the ongoing seismic risks.

“The extra support for Kaikōura is needed because this is the second smallest council in New Zealand. For example, every extra $57,000 the council has to spend on repairs would mean a one percent increase in rates.

“This support package will help future proof the vital infrastructure that the local communities depend on.”

Mr Guy has also confirmed that national level powers to coordinate and control the recovery efforts are no longer necessary and will end at 1pm today.

“The issues that may have required powers of national direction, such as the restoration of the roading and rail network, have either been resolved or are being dealt with through other mechanisms,” says Mr Guy.

“We have managed to achieve great cooperation without needing to use the powers, however they were always a useful backstop.”

While these national level powers lapse today, the Kaikoura District Council will today put in place a local transition period so that they have powers to continue the recovery effort.

The Government remains committed to supporting the recovery of the region.

A wide range of support has already gone to local councils in the region including:

  • $2.5 million funding to support their additional statutory functions after the earthquake, such as building consents, planning and hazard management.
  • $2.6 million to help Hurunui and Kaikōura districts repair waste facilities, recycle earthquake debris and manage hazardous waste.
  • $5.72 million to restore the council owned Harbour.
  • $2 million to cover Council debt on Kaikōura Health Centre
  • $11.4 million towards the repair and emergency works of local roads.

A full summary of Government support for the wider region is available at

 

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