Government supports Chatham Islands' resilience

Emergency Management

The Government is supporting the Chatham Islands’ resilience to extreme weather events and natural hazards through a grant to secure safe drinking water, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty said.

“Many households in the Chatham Islands lack easy access to drinking water and have been forced to get water to their homes in ways that are unaffordable, unsustainable, and at times unsafe,” Kieran McAnulty said.

“The Government is securing reliable and safe drinking water for approximately 20% of households on the Islands through a 30,000 litre water tank and a water filtration system for each home.

“The Islands have been experiencing long dry periods, which has massively impacted residents who can’t connect to mains or council water supplies.

“This programme will support households identified by the local civil defence group as most at risk from increasing droughts.

“Even though this is a relatively small scale project, ensuring that a significant part of the community will have access to a clean and reliable water supply will make a big difference in the years to come.

“This is not just in money saved, but in better health outcomes and reduced environmental pressure on the Islands.

“The Chatham Islands’ unique remoteness and other circumstances means this community can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of drought and other natural hazards.

“Supporting this locally-led project will help households and the wider community boost their resilience in the face of increasing natural hazards and severe weather events.

“The Government is providing $500,000 to purchase, transport, and install the infrastructure, but getting the work done will be a locally led effort. The project so far has shown the strength of the collaborative efforts of this community,” Kieran McAnulty said.

The project is a collaboration between the Chatham Islands Council, Chatham Islands Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust, Hokotehi Moriori Trust, and the National Emergency Management Agency.