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Christmas gift for Matata

Christmas gift for Matata

Te Ururoa Flavell, Member of Parliament for Waiariki

21 December 2005

“The decision to delay funding decisions towards rebuilding Matata will be welcomed by families who have already experienced significant trauma this year” stated Member of Parliament for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell.

Whakatane District Council today postponed making any decisions on how to pay for the $17m package of regeneration schemes proposed to rebuild Matata.

“Whanau in Matata have been through hell this year” said Mr Flavell. “The havoc created by the May floods, and the devastation which ravaged the township, has been an ordeal that our families have still not recovered from”.

“The costs of the calamity were enormous - and in particular we think of the impact for the families living in the 113 houses which were damaged by the flood. It will be a hard Christmas for these families this year - but at least the decision today prevents them from suffering further hardship”.

“Whilst we were all pleased that Cabinet finally made a decision on Monday to contribute a further $3m to help rebuild Matata, the people were still living in fear that the Whakatane District Council would penalise them by requiring hefty rates to build a dam”.

Whakatane District Council has been meeting with residents to discuss options around building a 17 metre high debri dam on the Awatarariki Stream. Some suggestions had put the rates as increasing up to $2000 extra a year in order to afford the $5m dam.

“The Maori Party has been aware that the majority of residents in Matata will be unable to pay the massive rate increases that had been mooted by the Council”.

“We have also been greatly concerned that the majority of Maori living in Matata have received little or no compensation for their land damaged by the floods, as a consequence of their living on multiply-owned Maori land”.

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