21 Apr 2024

Half of cyclone-wrecked Hawke's Bay properties now bought out or close to it

2:55 pm on 21 April 2024
Flood-damaged property in Hastings

Flood-damaged properties in Hastings after Cyclone Gabrielle (file picture). Photo: Antonio Della Barca

Half the cyclone-wrecked Hawke's Bay properties deemed too unsafe to live in have now been bought out, or are close to it.

Across Hastings and Napier, 167 properties are in Category 3 and eligible for a buyout, with local councils and the government going halves on the cost.

Offers for 85 properties have been received or approved by property owners - and 24 have already settled.

And 86 percent of eligible properties have completed valuations, or had valuations commissioned from independent valuers.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said though it was a complex process, the progress was heartening.

"We know this remains a difficult time for those with Category 3 properties.

"Our Voluntary Buy-out Office team has been pulling out all the stops to keep things moving as quickly as possible so people can move on."

It was "wonderful" to see families relocating to safe areas of the district, she said.

Napier mayor Kirsten Wise said trusting councils to deliver the best outcomes was a big deal.

"We hope this allows these property owners to move forward with their lives.

"We appreciate the co-operation of all those who have chosen to take up the option for a voluntary buy-out."

The councils expected that most offers would be completed by October.

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