Cyclone Gabrielle: Hawke’s Bay Regional Council reclassifies 1237 properties

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1,237 properties across Hastings, Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay have shifted to Category 1 flood zoning for rebuilding, but 684 remain classified as Category 2A in Wairoa, according to the latest Hawke’s Bay Regional Council figures. Photo / Wairoa District Council’s Emergency Controller

Progress on releasing Hawke’s Bay properties to lower provisional flood risk categories is well under way, but some parts of the region are moving quicker than others.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council released the latest provisional figures for the number of properties in each land categorisation on Monday.

Less than two months after the first provisional categorisations were released to the public, more than half of the residents located in provisional Category 2 and Category 3 areas across Hawke’s Bay have been moved to Category 1.

Altogether, 1237 properties across Hastings, Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay have shifted to Category 1, which means there are no longer any limitations to rebuilding for them.


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However, no properties were recategorised in Wairoa and 684 remain classed as Category 2A.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said in a statement Category 2A is a complex and uncertain categorisation.

“While there may be options for some risk mitigation, we simply do not know enough to make fully informed decisions, and without significant external funding, we will not be able to afford any proposed flood mitigation,” Little said.

“Our biggest focus remains on looking after our community and listening to our people.”


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Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chairwoman Hinewai Ormsby acknowledged the collaborative effort of the councils.

“The regional council and its contractors worked tirelessly to repair the breaches of the region’s flood protection network following the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle,” Ormsby said.

“This is hugely important work that has been completed at pace in order to help the region move forward with its recovery. Our teams continue to work to restore the flood protection network.”

She said Hawke’s Bay is the only region that has done this level of work on land categorisation.

“We have worked hard to preserve options for property owners, believing that they want options, and we are working hard to provide certainty for people.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said there was still a huge amount of work to be done for the region’s most impacted communities.

“For the more than 600 Hastings residents who now find themselves in Category 1, there is no doubt a huge sense of relief in being able to move on with recovery and to move forward with their lives,” Hazlehurst said.

“We cannot lose sight, however, of the uncertainty that remains for a significant number of residents whose homes and communities are still in provisional Category 2 and Category 3 areas.”

She said urgent progress is still being made in negotiations with central government around the voluntary buyout process and further funding support.

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