As you may have heard, the Government has offered a $204m support package to Te Tairāwhiti for cyclone recovery.
This offer includes:
- $125m for roading and bridge repairs
- $64m for flood protection
- $15m for the 50/50 cost sharing for the purchase of properties that have been deemed too dangerous to live in, due to flood or land instability risk caused by the severe weather earlier this year.
The Gisborne District Council has also negotiated a $30m interest free loan for 10 years.
When these negotiations began, Council was facing a total repair cost of $1.1 billion, which was mainly made up of roading costs. The negotiations aimed to secure the best support package from the Government to help repair our infrastructure and to enable communities to be safe and connected, while keeping the impacts on rates as low as possible.
This is an important decision for the community as it impacts us all. It’s an all or nothing offer, and the Council are putting it to the community to have our say. If we accept the Government’s support package of $204m and an interest-free loan of $30m over 10 years this will provide those most affected by the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle with some certainty to move forward, and provide financial certainty for recovery priorities like roading and stopbanks. It will enable us to move forward as quickly as possible.
If we don’t accept this Government funding we will still need to fix our roads and bridges. Funding will be less certain and timeframes would likely be extended. More properties will move into Category 3 because we can't afford the millions of dollars needed to reduce flood risks.
And, we'd need to decide what recovery activities we can afford to fund using Rates and roading subsidies. It’s unlikely we could afford to undertake the same scale or range of recovery and resilience work, or purchase Category 3 properties if the offer is not accepted.
Next week there are a bunch of opportunities to speak to Councillors about this topic, so get along and be a part of the decision-making process!
You can also give your feedback online.
Head here for all the details: https://participate.gdc.govt.nz/cyclone-support-package-offer
Feedback opens Monday 9 and closes 5pm Monday 16 October.