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Negotiations between Government and Hawke’s Bay councils continue

Published: 30 June 2023

Waitangi Works Awatoto reduced size

Works underway at Waitangi, Awatoto, following Cyclone Gabrielle

Negotiations around the voluntary buyout of confirmed Category 3 residential properties are ongoing, with the Government today confirming that its discussions with Hawke’s Bay’s five councils are now expected to continue through to the end of July. 

Sandra Hazlehurst, Mayor of Hastings, confirmed the negotiations had not concluded by 30 June, as originally targeted in an announcement by the Government earlier this month.

“Unfortunately, whilst these negotiations have been progressing with urgency, it has not been possible to finalise all of the details – and to share these details with impacted property owners – by the end of the month.

“We appreciate many of our most severely impacted communities will be disappointed by the news that the original 30 June deadline will not be met. We remain acutely aware the uncertainty about what is happening with Category 3 properties and impacted communities is challenging.

“Whilst we remain committed to providing people with as much certainty as possible, as quickly as possible, we have to balance this alongside the need to get this right for the people of Hawke’s Bay. It is imperative that we reach the best possible outcome for our communities.”

Kirsten Wise, Mayor of Napier, says the negotiating team, led by former Cabinet Minister, Chris Finlayson, will continue to prioritise the ongoing negotiation process.

“As leaders, what’s top of mind is both the repair work needed for our region’s infrastructure and flood protection schemes, as well as the very immediate needs of those severely impacted communities with Category 3 properties. Over the coming weeks, our region’s Councils will continue these critical discussions with the Government as matter of urgency.

“We’ve always been really clear about the fact that building back safer, stronger and smarter is going to require investment far greater than the region has seen before and together, our region’s Councils look forward to ongoing support from the Government to ensure the recovery can happen as quickly as possible for the people of Hawke’s Bay.”

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