Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Cabinet agrees funding to help rebuild Matata

Cabinet agrees funding to help rebuild Matata

Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker was delighted to announce Cabinet agreed today to contribute a further $3 million to help rebuild Matata.

Mr Barker said "this money will help the Whakatane District Council, the people of Matata and other agencies to rebuild the township and be confident that the disastrous and life-threatening flooding that hit the area in May will not happen again.

Government had indicated its willingness to consider supporting the Whakatane Distrcit Council's Matata regeneration package, and noted that there have been precedents for the government contributing up to one third of the capital costs of measures to reduce future risk in particular circumstances.

"Working collaboratively with central and local agencies and the community, we have come through. In total, government expenditure on response and recovery and risk mitigation for the Matata area is likely to top $20.8 million.

“Without this assistance the major civil engineering work necessary to enable Matata to safely regenerate would be unaffordable for the District Council and would place an unsustainable burden on the district’s ratepayers," said Mr Barker.

The assistance package will help fund the proposed civil engineering works and other works around the town. These include:

A 17-metre high debris dam on the Awatarariki Stream

A bund on the side of the Waitepuru Stream to control the direction of future debris flows

An ex-gratia $100,000 payment to the District Council to help employ a manager for two years to oversee the regeneration project

A decision on funding to help manage the effects of flooding on the Matata Lagoon – of which the western end was devastated in the May floods has been defferred for a report to be developed and for further consultation

Construction of the debris dam and bund is expected to necessitate the purchase of a small number of neighbouring properties.

The Government assistance package will also contribute to flood-proofing upgrades of State Highway 2 and the rail line linking Kawerau and the Port of Tauranga – which both pass through the township and which were both badly damaged in the May floods. This will include expanding and realigning culverts and upgrading bridges. The total cost is likely to be around $4.5 million for State Highway-related works and $3,875,000 for rail-related works.

Mr Barker says that Transit New Zealand and ONTRACK have both responded positively to the Whakatane District Council’s requests that the road and rail infrastructure be configured so as reduce the risk of future flooding to the Matata area.

Mr Barker congratulated the Whakatane District Council, Transit New Zealand, ONTRACK and the Matata community for their work on preparing the regeneration plan.

“It’s been a difficult time for all concerned since the May floods – but I’m pleased that the effort that went into the Council’s business case has paid off – because the business case is a good one and it signals a renewed, bright future of Matata.

“This is the first time that the Government has taken the approach of encouraging the affected community to develop an integrated regeneration package straight after a civil defence emergency.

Mr Barker noted that it has taken four months to design a set of solutions, and three months for the community to decide on the options it wanted. This amount of time was necessary to reach a solution that was both sound and supported by the council and its community.

"The Matata package had come out of a good process and I'm delighted that we have met the deadline and found a resolution.

"We have a plan for the future, the Whakatane District Council and the Government have committed the funds and we can now start to rebuild Matata.

"The Wait is over," said Mr Barker.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How America’s Middle East Allies Are Poisoning The Ground Joe Biden Will Inherit

As even the US mainstream media has been reporting, the prime motive for the murder of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (by Israeli or Saudi operatives, or both) has been to poison the situation that the next US president will inherit. At best, there was only an outside chance that the incoming Biden administration and the outgoing liberal regime of Iranian PM Hassan Rouhani could have revived the Iran anti-nuclear deal that Rouhani had negotiated in 2015 with Barack Obama. Deliberately though, America’s allies have now made it impossible for Biden to pursue that option... More>>


WorkSafe: 13 Parties Charged Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy

WorkSafe New Zealand today filed charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari/White Island eruption in December last year. “22 people have lost their lives in this tragic event. WorkSafe is tasked with investigating workplace incidents to determine ... More>>


Pay Gap: Progress On Pay Equity For DHB Staff

Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>


New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


New Zealand Government: To Declare A Climate Emergency

The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and the type of planet our children will inherit ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels