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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy today visited Edgecumbe to see how the recovery is progressing.

“The Government is committed to ensuring the Edgecumbe community and Bay of Plenty has the support they need to recover from the April floods,” says Mrs Tolley.

“This includes $1 million in funding to enable Enhanced Taskforce Green teams to clear debris from towns, rural properties, and parks and reserves in Edgecumbe, Whakatane, Taneatua, Ruatoki, and other affected areas.

“It’s estimated that a quarter of the clean-up has been completed, and the three teams are expected to continue operating until October. Feedback on the teams from the community and council has been really positive.

“MSD has also made around 3,000 civil defence payments totalling over $850,000 to help people with food, clothing and bedding.”

“The Whakatane District Recovery Office has developed a draft recovery programme for the next six months. It is the foundation for a jointly-owned Recovery Plan with community,” says Mr Guy.

“The Government continues to ensure local businesses and farming communities have the support they need. We’ve provided $900,000 to help businesses, farmers and growers get back on their feet so far.

“The Rural Support Trust continues to work with 65 farmers needing support. The MPI Bay of Plenty Primary Sector Flood Recovery Grant fund has now closed after having distributed 43 grants, totalling $200,000.”

Up to 30 temporary homes will be built at the Whakatane Holiday Park in partnership with the Whakatane District Council, with the costs being shared.

In addition MBIE has leased 21 one-bedroom cabins to transport to flood damaged properties, and contracted the construction of an additional 17 one-and two-bedroom cabins.

MBIE and Te Puni Kōkiri have agreed funding of more than $2.6 million to start constructing the first five houses in a Papakainga development at Kokohinau Marae. 

Construction will begin immediately with support from the Whakatane District Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to expedite planning consents.

Up to 20 homes are expected to benefit from the Liveable Homes project which is designed to help people without the means to repair their flood-damaged homes to a liveable standard.

The Government previously announced the Earthquake Commission has been authorised to clean-up all affected properties, including homeowners without insurance. Inland Revenue waived late payment fees and penalties for those prevented from paying on time due to the floods.

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