31 Aug 2023

Auckland Council need to be in sync with flood-hit communities - owner of damaged home

5:00 pm on 31 August 2023
Muriwai flood damage

View of a storm damage in Muriwai, west Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro

A property owner in a storm-hit part of coastal Auckland says recovery efforts are progressing slowly.

Last week, Auckland Council unveiled a $2 billion funding deal with central government to buy out homes made uninhabitable by weather events earlier this year.

The package included funds to repair damaged infrastructure and build resilience against future flooding.

Public consultation on the proposed Council-Crown co-funding scheme is set to start next month.

Rick Star owns a bach in the cyclone-hit community of Karekare on Auckland's west coast.

On a recent trip, he said the main road into Karekare, part of which gave way during Cyclone Gabrielle, had been stabilised.

"What we know now is there's a general plan that the government and council have agreed to a funding level," he said.

"There are a lot of unknowns, the council needs to go forward to ratepayers and figure out how they're going to fund their portion of that."

He said the current plan brought more certainty to council than it did to property owners.

"Based on what we're seeing at Muriwai, there are no indications of how properties might be valued, no indications for what the discussion process might be, no timing for making offers," he said.

Star said flood-affected communities needed to be in sync with council regarding resourcing and visions for the future.

"That is creeping forward, it hasn't happened yet," he said.

"We are getting good access to the people that matter, and hopefully this begins to gel over a period of time."

Across all of Auckland, council had now placed 215 properties into risk categories.

Earlier this week, Auckland councillor Maurice Williamson said the buyout was a "very complicated process" and could be running till the end of the year and maybe well into 2024.

In July, an Auckland Council spokesperson said all red-stickered properties would be eligible for rates relief, as well as those yellow- and white-stickered properties that are uninhabitable, for at least a year.

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