15 April 2024

Opinion: “Long recovery road ahead, but will get through this together”

By: Jamie Strange

Jamie Strange, Hamilton East MP
Jamie Strange, Labour MP for Hamilton East

From Cape Reinga in the far north down to the Tararuas and the Wairarapa, the recent weather events have wreaked havoc on millions of lives. While there’s a long road ahead for many New Zealanders, we will get through this together.

While the severe weather hasn’t directly affected us here in the Waikato, its ongoing impact will be felt by all. Just like the Christchurch and Kaikōura earthquakes, Cyclone Gabrielle’s legacy will be with us for many years to come.

As we move through the immediate response, the cost of the recovery and rebuild phases are becoming clearer. It will be significant; a multi-billion dollar price tag is ahead of us, but as a country we are in a strong financial position.

Our Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to recover. We will continue to stand by New Zealanders and we will back communities as we rebuild.

We have already taken significant steps towards this. We are providing an initial $50 million support package for businesses, farmers and growers for urgent work like clearing silt and repairing infrastructure. We are also injecting an extra $250 million for emergency works to help councils fix roads, get transport links back up and access into communities.

This is the kind of support communities have been calling for and we are focused on getting it out the door as quickly as possible. Of course, there will be more financial support to come.

We have also set up new structures that will direct and coordinate the recovery. This includes putting in place Ministers for each affected region to work directly with councils on the local response.

On top of this, we have put in place a new service to assist homeowners with natural disaster insurance claims. People whose homes have been damaged by a natural disaster – like Cyclone Gabrielle and the January floods – will be able to access this service to support them if their insurance claims get stuck.

This year has the potential to be difficult for many families and businesses here in New Zealand. That’s why we will continue to focus on the bread and butter issues in front of New Zealanders right now.

Jamie Strange, Labour MP for Hamilton East Email: Jamie.StrangeMP@parliament.govt.nz

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this column, ViewPoint are the personal opinions of the writer, and do not reflect the views of NewsViews nor does it ascribe to these in any manner.  

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