It’s been a more than a year since Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation, and nearly three months since Maungaharuru-Tangitū Charitable Trust secured vacant land in Westshore from Napier City Council to house displaced Napier whānau.

And although the Trust mentioned in mid-December 2023 that twelve pre-fabricated cabins will be moved onto the land to house families, about 20 people in total including children, that has yet to happen.

When asked for an update a Trust spokesperson told BayBuzz the Trust’s priority remained on supporting its whānau.

“While the process of sourcing funding and securing suitable Category 1 land, cabins and tradespeople has taken some time, works are progressing well and both our displaced whānau and the wider hapū have been kept informed,” they said.

“Whilst we’re not in a position to provide any further comment at this stage, we will continue to keep media and the wider public updated as and when we’re in a position to do so.”

The Trust secured the lease of vacant land in Westshore from Council for three years, for families who have been living with whānau and in emergency housing since February when the cyclone hit.

The families were among many Hawke’s Bay residents who lost homes from areas just north of Napier, said Russell Bond, NCC’s Executive Director Infrastructure Services previously.

“Many people in our wider Hawke’s Bay community continue to feel the effects of February 14. It is fantastic to have Council and hapū working closely together to enable some of our severely impacted residents to have certainty about where they live, at least in the short term.”

For many of the relocating families, the new homes in Westshore will see whānau finally able to live together with housing security for the first time in almost a year, said Kelly May, Acting Chair of Maungaharuru-Tangitū Charitable Trust.

“Like so many communities across our region, we have whānau who have been displaced from their homes and away from their families, friends and neighbours since February,” she said.

“As a region, we need to continue to work together to ensure all of our communities can fully recover from the devastating impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle, and we’re grateful to Napier City Council for their support, and for working with us to make these new homes a reality for our whānau in need.”

The parcel of land is zoned residential. The lease agreement aligns with the period set out in the Order in Council titled ‘Severe Weather Emergency (Temporary Accommodation) Order 2023’, which provides relief from the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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