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Councils rapt to receive flood resilience funding

Local councils are expressing euphoria following Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Michell’s announcement of $8 million funding for five flood resilience projects in the region on Wednesday.

Masterton District Council [MDC] Deputy Mayor Bex Johnson said she and her colleagues “were delighted to hear the news we will receive funding for critical resilience projects across our district”.

“The extreme weather events at the beginning of last year highlighted the urgent need for resilience investment to be prioritised for communities like ours.

“Those same events brought home the devastating impacts that families and communities can face.”

As reported yesterday, three of the five projects are within the Masterton district [at Cockburn St, Tīnui, and Riversdale], and have combined funding of $6,511,000.

“Like most councils, we have limited funding with increasing conflicting demands being made of it, so any funding we can receive to alleviate costs to our ratepayers or to see urgent work completed is incredibly important for us,” Johnson said.

A fourth project that’s received $350,000 is at Flat Point, and Carterton District Council chief executive Geoff Hamilton is delighted at the central government support for what he describes as vital work.

“We are confident the work aligns with the vision behind the fund to ensure that our people, places, and systems are resilient and able to adapt to the effects of unavoidable climate change,” Hamilton said.

The Cyclone Recovery Unit, part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet [DPMC], administers the Local Government Flood Resilience Co-Investment Fund.

“We are grateful to the Unit and the DPMC for the award and look forward to working together to safeguard one of our most vulnerable communities,” Hamilton said.

A final portion of the funding goes to the Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] to support recovery and resilience work in eastern Wairarapa [GWRC has been approached for comment].

Wairarapa electorate MP Mike Butterick told the Times-Age he was “thrilled” to be at yesterday’s funding announcement.

“Many communities have been impacted by weather events in our region,” Butterick said.

“Funding targeted towards specific projects with clear outcomes will help them get back on track and protect them in the future.

“I will continue to advocate for the electorate.”

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