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Flood relief for communities & local authorities

17 March 2004 Media Statement

Further relief for communities and local authorities in flooded areas

The Government has announced a further assistance package for communities and local authorities affected by February's floods.

Civil Defence Minister George Hawkins said the wide ranging package included $11 million to assist local authorities for rate demands on commercial and farming properties most affected by the floods.

"This initiative will be well received by Mayors in affected districts and was identified by them as an area of assistance which would greatly benefit their communities to recover from the floods," he said. Officials would work with local authorities to develop criteria to determine the allocation of the funding across the affected areas.

Mr Hawkins said in regards to roads and bridges, it was estimated the cost of repairs to State Highways in the flooded areas would be $10 million.

It was likely a further $62 million would be necessary to repair local roads, of which $52 million will be covered under standard Transfund policy.

To further assist local authorities, the government has decided to provide an additional $4 million on top of the standard funding.

Following from an earlier announcement that the government will match donations for flood relief appeals, Mr Hawkins announced details of how the government contribution will be distributed.

He said that at least $4.4 million would be paid to the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Disaster Relief Fund Trust and up to $400,000 held for distribution among the Mayoral Trust Funds of the Taupo, Central Hawkes Bay, South Wairarapa District Councils, as well as those of the Hutt City and Marlborough District.

Mr Hawkins said one of the most impressive features of the aftermath of the floods had been the huge response to public appeals for flood victims.
"Those funds are still coming in and it is the government's intention to match those funds dollar-for-dollar until 31 March 2004," he said.

ENDS

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