Government buyout proposed for nine flood-damaged Tinui homes

6:04 pm on 20 November 2023
The NZDF help clear out a damaged Tinui home after Cyclone Gabrielle.

The NZDF help clear out a damaged Tinui home after Cyclone Gabrielle. Photo: LDR / Supplied

Nine Tinui properties are part of a proposed buyout programme for Wairarapa homes badly damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Masterton District Council set out details on Monday of the $2.5 million proposal to take part in the government's Future of Severely Affected Locations [FOSAL] programme.

Nine properties, with a total of 12 dwellings, around Tinui have been provisionally assessed as category 3, meaning they are not safe to live in due to the risk of flooding.

MDC said its share of the buyout costs would come from loan funding and confirmed the plan would be consulted on.

The estimated impact of this for the 2024/25 financial year would be an increase of 0.75 percent in rates for the council.

This would mean an extra $26 per year for a median-value urban residential property.

Cyclone Gabrielle tore through parts of Masterton district in mid-February causing serious flooding in the small community of Tinui.

Some in the township north of Masterton had to evacuate their homes at the time.

The local school was badly flooded, with mud through the classrooms. It operated from a community hall while the cleanup was underway.

A MDC spokesperson confirmed last month confidential discussions with affected property owners were happening.

Under the FOSAL funding arrangement, the government would contribute 50 percent of the cost of buying out category 3 properties if the council funds the other 50 percent.

The estimated total cost to the council of the buyout programme would be $2.5m.

Flood-damaged items on the street in Tinui.

Flood-damaged items on the street in Tinui. Photo: LDR / Terry Hann

MDC joins other councils in the North Island in managing similar issues.

Last month, Hawke's Bay Regional Council confirmed there were 287 red-zoned category 3 properties in the region.

The buyout process in Hawke's Bay was expected to begin by the end of October for those affected.

Auckland Council also reportedly planned to buyout about 700 flood-damaged properties as part of a $2 billion cost-sharing storm package with the government.

Consultation for the proposal is open until 4pm on 4 December. Council deliberations on the issue will be held on 13 December.

Submissions can be made [ online.]

Hard copies of the proposal are also available at the MDC offices at 161 Queen Street or Masterton District Library at 54 Queen Street.

Local Democracy Reporting is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.

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