Flood-stricken Buller District to get $1 million from Govt

The Buller community will receive a further $1 million in assistance following massive flooding in the region last weekend.

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Buller District Mayor Jamie Cleine says the community is "banding together" despite more rain forecast for the region. Source: Breakfast

Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi made the announcement today in a statement.

It follows a previous Government contribution of $300,000 towards a Buller Mayoral Relief Fund, another $100,000 towards the Marlborough Mayoral Relief Fund and $200,000 for affected farmers and growers.

The West Coast was hit with wild weather last weekend, with Buller District Mayor Jamie Cleine declaring a local state of emergency.

Westport floods: Some families out of their homes for months

Hundreds of homes were left uninhabitable after the weather event, Cleine told 1 NEWS today it could be weeks or months until some people can return home.

“Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money will be made available to the district council for immediate use,” Faafoi said.

“The council has been providing services to around 2000 people affected by the fierce downpour and expects continued support, especially for those unable to return to their homes, is likely to be needed for at least another fortnight, and possibly longer.

“This includes providing accommodation, food, water in addition to assessing other more specific needs.

Buller District declares state of emergency as weather worsens

“The latest contribution is part of a larger scale cross-agency response to the flooding on the West Coast and in Marlborough, which is also in line for further support with welfare costs.

“Alongside that Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams announced yesterday the temporary accommodation service (TAS) was being activated, enabling flood-hit residents on both the West Coast and in Marlborough to access help to find a temporary place to stay.

The New Zealand Defence Force helps a resident evacuate from a home in Buller. Source: New Zealand Defence Force

“We know how devastating an event like this can be; it is not something anyone would wish for. But from what I’ve seen these communities are putting in a massive effort to help with the recovery and look out for each other. We are 100 per cent behind them,” Faafoi said.

The Buller Mayoral Relief Fund is open for the public to donate. Funds will be used to benefit Buller communities impacted by flooding.

Find out more on the Buller District Council website.