Govt welcomes Auckland Council update on cyclone affected properties

Cyclone Recovery Finance

The Government is welcoming the Auckland Council’s initial engagement with property owners affected by extreme weather events earlier this year.

“Today’s announcement by Auckland Council is a useful initial step for affected property owners on the pathway forward from the extreme weather events earlier this year,” Grant Robertson said.

“However, it is imperative all councils in affected areas, including Auckland, provide certainty to affected residents on what category their properties will likely fall under as soon as possible, following the process undertaken by the cyclone taskforce working with councils and insurers to pull together data on affected areas.

“As I’ve said previously, people in homes designated as Category 3 properties will be offered a voluntary buyout – the costs of which will be shared between the Government and councils.

“Decisions on the details of how the voluntary buyout process will work will be made in the coming weeks. This will include the valuation of Category 3 properties, the split of costs between councils and central Government, and how offers made for insured and uninsured properties will differ.

“The Government is committed to cost-sharing with councils. This will help councils get the right solution in the right place and avoid significant financial hardship for property owners,” Grant Robertson said.

“As requested by councils affected by the North Island weather events, the Government has supported a locally-led response,” Michael Wood said.

“I acknowledge that this is a significant exercise for Auckland Council, where the majority of category 2 and 3 affected homes are located. While Auckland Council has chosen to focus on high risk, potentially category 3 properties initially, it is critical that Auckland Council also looks to complete assessments of category 2 affected properties to provide further certainty to affected property owners as quickly as possible.

“For properties Auckland Council designates as Category 2 the Government will work with councils to help them build flood protection and other resilience measures. This support is already in place with $100 million initial funding announced in Budget 2023 for all affected regions,” Michael Wood said.

“We know that with climate change there will be more severe weather events like this in the future. A cost sharing arrangement will be the basis for all future event of this type. The Government has to strike a balance a careful balance between supporting affected communities and not making all taxpayers bear the cost,” Grant Robertson said.