Aucklanders are being asked whether they support a deal with government to share the costs of funding $2 billion of storm recovery and resilience programmes, in a consultation which launches today.
People have until 24 September to have their say on whether Auckland Council should enter into the $2 billion recovery funding agreement, and can share their views on how they think property buy-outs for Auckland’s most high-risk homes could work.
Deputy Mayor Desley Simpson says the consultation is an important next step in Auckland’s recovery following the unanimous, in-principle endorsement of the agreement by Governing Body.
“The proposed package goes beyond just buying out high-risk homes and supports a longer-term pathway for our region’s resilience.
“All the evidence tells us that we will experience more frequent and extreme storms in the future, so it’s vital we increase our resilience now so we’re not leaving our communities exposed to the ongoing risk of these extreme weather events,” says Deputy Mayor Simpson.
The proposed agreement has secured a $1.1b injection into Auckland to fund improvements in Auckland’s flood mitigation infrastructure and recovery costs of the transport network directly impacted by the storms. The agreement also specifies a 50/50 split between the council and Government to fund the voluntary buy-out of Category 3 properties. Category 3 properties are the most vulnerable to future extreme weather and have an intolerable risk to life.
“Securing funding from the government to accelerate this work is critical for us to safeguard people in the future.
“While I’m delighted that the government has come to the table to contribute financially for Auckland, we can’t brush over the fact that this is a cost-share agreement so the council needs to fund the remaining $900 million to make this package deal work. How we will do this, and which financial levers we are required to pull to fund it, will be part of our next Long-term Plan,” says Deputy Mayor Simpson.
Group Recovery Manager Mat Tucker says having the backing of Aucklanders allows Auckland Council to confidently move forward with recovery plans which support the thousands of people still living day-to-day with the impact of the storms.
“For many Aucklanders, the storms are just a distant memory because they came through unscathed. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that so many others have had their lives turned upside down. Seven months on, there are neighbourhoods of people across our region that can’t return to their home, and the mental and financial toll it takes on people can’t be underestimated.
“We also know that many people are living in fear of the next storm. This package will give us the opportunity to either safeguard homes against future risk by funding new infrastructure or, in the most high-risk cases, help people to get out of harm’s way by buying their home. I encourage everyone, whether they were affected or not, to have their say,” says Mr Tucker.
How to participate in the consultation
Aucklanders can have their say by completing an online feedback form at akhaveyoursay.nz/recoveryfunding, emailing email@example.com or visiting their local library or service centre to complete a paper feedback form.
About the deal
The cost-share agreement includes:
- $820 million to fund projects that will help build resilience against future flood events, including the core aspects of the council’s Making Space for Water
- $390 million towards the recovery costs of the transport network directly impacted by the storms.
- $774 million to purchase an estimated 700 residential properties where there is an intolerable risk to life and it is not feasible to mitigate this risk.
Check out the webinar
A webinar on the consultation was held on Wednesday 13 September, to provide more information to Aucklander’s about the proposed recovery funding package. A recording of this online information session is available now on AK Have Your Say.