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Joint Wairarapa Council Press Release

Wairarapa Councils Work Together to Assist Edgecumbe Recovery

In May the Whakatāne District Council unanimously approved the ‘Liveable Homes’ programme, which is designed to ensure that all homes damaged in April’s floods can be repaired to a habitable standard, regardless of owners’ personal circumstances.

‘Liveable Homes’ is a key initiative for the Whakatāne District Recovery project and aims to provide a ‘hand-up’ for people who don’t have the means to repair their own houses.

Preliminary information indicates that there could be up to 240 flood-damaged houses in the District where the owners will not be able to fund the repair work needed to make their homes liveable again. In most instances, that is because the homes involved are uninsured, or under-insured, most of the properties are in Edgecumbe.

The recovery team are gathering support from the local construction industry, and individual qualified tradespeople, to lead teams of volunteers who will undertake the work necessary to make flood-damaged homes habitable again.

Whakatāne Mayor, Tony Bonne says around 40% of flood damaged homes are either under insured or uninsured.

“For the survival of this community we have launched this unique project 'Liveable Homes'. The Mayoral fund is going to be used both for this project and also for those cases that really need assistance.”

“I have been overwhelmed with the support of New Zealand over our disaster. There are a lot of funds coming in tagged for the Liveable Home project via our Give a Little page, as this is estimated to cost around $70,000 per home. This is to get the home liveable, not replaced.”

All three Wairarapa Mayors have come together to run a combined campaign to encourage fundraising through www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/ebopmayoralfund.

Links to the Givealittle page is on all three Council websites and Facebook pages. Donation boxes are at all Wairarapa libraries.

South Wairarapa District Council Acting Mayor, Brian Jephson says all three councils will use their varied channels to encourage people to donate to this cause.

“If every Wairarapa person donated one dollar to this Give a Little page then as a combined region we could raise $40,000 for them.”

Carterton District Council Mayor, John Booth says a small country combining our efforts could make a real difference to the community of Edgecumbe.

“We need to step up as a community to help the people of Edgecumbe in their time of need. We could all be affected by a significant event at some stage. New Zealand is a relatively small country; we can all lean on each other in times of need, no matter where we live.”

Masterton District Council Mayor, Lyn Patterson says it is important that we keep supporting the people of Edgecumbe.

“Even though they are no longer in the media spotlight. There is a great deal of work to be done there and I'm sure our community will dig deep to help out."

To donate visit www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/ebopmayoralfund.

For further information on the ‘Liveable Homes’ programme contact Tony Bonne – Mayor, Whakatāne District – [email protected]

For further information on how you can assist from the Wairarapa contact [email protected]

Background:

A wide range of community funding agencies are being asked to support the Liveable Homes project which aims to restore uninsured homes to a standard which will allow them to be reoccupied.

Building supply companies are being approached to provide bulk supplies of essential building materials and equipment.

Home owners will need to confirm that they wish to participate in the programme.

The Council has a database of flood-damaged homes and will compare this with information from the insurance industry to identify properties where, potentially, the owners may not have the means to undertake the repairs necessary to make their homes liveable again. The owners of those properties will then be contacted and asked to meet with a member of the restoration team to confirm their situation and if assistance is required, to sign a consent form to participate in the restoration process.

Work teams will work progressively through the homes where assistance is needed in each neighbourhood/area.

The basic work stream milestones are free building consent issued, strip-out flood-damaged flooring, floor linings, wall linings and insulation, dry-out building, refit wall linings and kitchen/bathroom cabinets, building code compliance certificate issued and finally the home is safe to reoccupy.

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15 June 2017

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