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Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Hurunui District Mayor Winton Dalley have officially opened the Waiau temporary accommodation village for Hurunui residents whose homes were damaged in the Kaikōura Earthquake.

“The Hurunui District was hard hit by the Kaikōura Earthquake in November 2016, with more than half the dwellings damaged. This has led to families leaving the district while awaiting repairs and rebuilds as there were no alternative accommodation options,” Dr Smith says.

“Demand for temporary accommodation villages built in Christchurch after the quakes there has been dropping as rebuild works progress and the rental market recovers, so four of the Rawhiti Domain houses have been transported to Waiau to help the community there.”

Mr Dalley says the Hurunui District Council bought a site in Waiau from the Presbyterian Church for the houses to go on.

“Having temporary accommodation options in the area allows residents to continue to be part of our community, and it’s pleasing to see this encouraging step towards the region’s recovery,” he says.

“One family is already living in the village, with a number of other households expressing interest for when their home is repaired in the future. As demand for the village decreases, the Hurunui District Council will decide how the houses will best be used for the local community.”

Dr Smith says the Government paid the cost of transporting the houses to the site, and sold them to the council at a discounted cost of $24,510 each.

“These two-bedroom houses are insulated and double glazed, have a heat-pump and are designed to be resistant to seismic activity and severe weather conditions. They will ensure households have a warm, safe and dry place to stay while their home is repaired and rebuilt.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Temporary Accommodation Service will manage registrations of interest to stay at the village and make recommendations to the council, which will make the final call about placement in a unit. The council will also manage day-to-day property and tenancy operations, including collecting rent and lodging bond payments.

“The other 16 Rawhiti homes have been sold to farmers in the region affected by the quake. That and this Waiau village are practical steps around temporary accommodation which involve the Government and Council working together to support the region’s recovery from the devastating quake,” Dr Smith concluded.

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