New Zealand
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Govt welcomes Hawke's Bay Councils agreement on cost-sharing

The Government is welcoming region-wide support in Hawke's Bay for the agreement on the costs of buying out Category 3 residential properties.

All five councils in the region have voted to accept the Crown's package of support. The agreement could be worth up to $556 million subject to community consultation.

"I know it has been a trying time for many residents and I am very pleased that we can now give the people of Hawke's Bay certainty," Grant Robertson said.

For the buyout, the Government will support Councils to purchase homes by contributing half the net cost. The net cost is the agreed buyout value less any insurance proceeds received, plus legal and transactional costs.

"The Government has also committed to contributing $203.5 million for flood protection projects to enhance the resilience of the Hawke's Bay region to give some certainty for owners pf properties assessed as category 2. This includes $70 million for a flood protection scheme in Wairoa.

"The sharing of these costs reflects our approach to the recovery being led by local councils, supported by central government," Grant Robertson said.

"Alongside that agreement the Government is making further significant investment in roading improvements and the building of new transport infrastructure.

"As the councils have outlined, a further $260 million will go into these transport projects, including funding the estimated cost of the Redclyffe Bridge replacement, the Puketapu, Matapiro and Aropauanui Bridge works in Hastings, critical roading projects for Central Hawkes Bay and Te Reinga Bridge works in Wairoa.

"All through this process the Government has been supporting a locally-led solution as this is what local government wanted. I am pleased we have reached agreement today on this important next step.

"As I said on Monday, negotiations with Auckland and Tairwhiti on cost sharing arrangements are progressing well, and we hope to have an agreement for those regions shortly," Grant Robertson said.

Source: Beehive