The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today.
"Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money will be made available to the district council for immediate use," Kris Faafoi said.
"The council has been providing services to around 2000 people affected by the fierce downpour and expects continued support, especially for those unable to return to their homes, is likely to be needed for at least another fortnight, and possibly longer.
"This includes providing accommodation, food, and water in addition to assessing other more specific needs.
"The latest contribution is part of a larger scale cross-agency response to the flooding on the West Coast and in Marlborough, which is also in line for further support with welfare costs.
"It follows a previous Government contribution of $300,000 towards a Buller Mayoral Relief Fund, another $100,000 towards the Marlborough Mayoral Relief Fund, and $200,000 for affected farmers and growers.
"Alongside that, Associate Housing Minister, Poto Williams, announced on Wednesday that the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) was being activated, enabling flood-hit residents on both the West Coast and in Marlborough to access help to find a temporary place to stay.
"We know how devastating an event like this can be; it is not something anyone would wish for. But from what I've seen these communities are putting in a massive effort to help with the recovery and look out for each other. We are 100 per cent behind them," Kris Faafoi said.
The Emergency Management Assistance Team (EMAT), NZ Response Teams (NZRT), New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) are still in Westport providing on the ground assistance alongside local civil defence and emergency services, while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) continues to provide support from the National Coordination Centre in Wellington.
A range of other Government agencies are also providing support from Wellington and on the ground in Westport, including the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health, NZDF and emergency services agencies.
The Buller Mayoral Relief Fund is open for the public to donate. Funds will be used to benefit Buller communities impacted by flooding. Find out more on the Buller District Council website: https://bullerdc.govt.nz/district-council/news/severe-weather-event-updates/