MIL-OSI New Zealand: Accommodation support extended for storm recovery

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Source: Auckland Council

The Government has extended accommodation assistance for households displaced by Cyclone Gabrielle and the January 2023 Auckland floods. 

Auckland Council has been advocating for an extension of these services to support affected whanau through the long tail of recovery. Support extended to June 2025 includes: 

“Extension of this critical support will be a huge relief for whanau in all affected regions as they move through the stages of recovery. And particularly in Auckland where we will have more joining our programme to the end of September,” says Linda Greenalgh, Group community and Social Recovery lead for the Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Office.  

“Recovery has a long tail. Even after receiving a category, whanau need to be supported through considering and finalising their buy-outs, or through major construction work at their property.” 

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Categorisation timelines 

As at 10 June, over 1600 properties had been categorised in Auckland, with over 500 eligible for buy-outs, around 300 buy-out offers made, and 100 buy-outs completed.  

“Any categorisations continuing into next year will be for later registrations – not those who are already waiting,” Ms Greenalgh explains. 

“Homeowners already registered and waiting should have their categories well before the end of the year. Those who registered last year have been given a forecast date for their categorisation – with most expected to be completed in the next few months.” 

September registration deadline 

Affected homeowners have until 30 September to register for the categorisation programme. While registrations are still coming in every week, Ms Greenalgh says some at-risk homeowners have not been in the head space to consider their options, and others have had reservations about signing up. 

“For many living in flood plains and repeat flooding areas, this might be the best option they have going forward to move somewhere safer,” says Ms Greenalgh. 

“A common concern is that getting a category will affect their property value and insurance premiums. But insurance providers, banks, tenants, councils and the property market will make their own decisions about risk with publicly available information. So – it’s about making sure everyone understands the benefits and risks, and can make an informed decision.” 

Recent research by IAG found 90% of buyers want flood info when buying a house, and that natural hazard risks are now the second consideration for house buyers after price. LIMs, public hazard maps and previous claim history all contain flooding and landslip hazard information  regardless of whether a property has a category. 

Register for Categorisation here 

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