An update on the extreme weather event recovery was provided for elected members at a Council meeting on 9 March 2023.

“As we’re six months into the Recovery effort we know more detail about the cost we are facing as a community,” says Alec Louverdis, Nelson City Council Group Manager Infrastructure. 

“The cost of repairs from the August event was originally estimated to be somewhere between $40-$60M. We have a more precise estimate now of $57.1M, and we anticipate that we will get around $23M from insurance and other sources.”

Council’s application for a Lottery Minister’s grant of approximately $450,000 to fund the Navigators and additional consultant support was awarded $150,000. This grant was intended to help fund salaries, office rental, set up of the Navigator Hub and other ongoing costs.

“Our Navigator team has been a lifeline for anyone affected by the weather event, particularly residents who are grappling with damaged homes and land and making their way through the complexities of dealing with multiple agencies,” says Nelson Mayor Nick Smith. “Their service is vital to the health and wellbeing of the people they are helping. They appreciate a familiar face and a regular, single source of contact.”

Mayor Nick says while Council is grateful for central government’s grants, noting that the government also contributed $300,000 for the Mayoral Relief Fund and $90,000 for those affected by the SH6 closure, the overall bill for Nelsonians is still large.

“I am doing all I can with our Council team to recover as much of the $57.1 million as possible from our insurers and through Government assistance. I will have further meetings with Ministers to put our case so as to reduce the impact on ratepayers. My hope is to get the cost down for ratepayers to about $35 million.”