• Video: Government needs to work hard to accelerate the cyclone recovery in Hawke's Bay, says Prime Minister

Video: Government needs to work hard to accelerate the cyclone recovery in Hawke's Bay, says Prime Minister

The Government needs to work hard to accelerate the Cyclone Gabrielle recovery in Hawke’s Bay, the Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said on a whistle-stop tour to the region today.

Three days ahead of the first anniversary of the cyclone that devastated the region, Luxon was here to announce more funding for recovery efforts.

The Government will give a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.

The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.

As part of the new funding, $40 million will go to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council for urgent work to continue to remove sediment and debris in the region. This includes $3 million ringfenced for debris removal in Wairoa.

The Gisborne District Council will receive $23.6 million to ensure urgent work will continue for the processing and removal of woody debris across the region.

Luxon was accompanied by Mark Mitchell, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister; and local MPs Katie Nimon and Catherine Wedd.

The Prime Minister said the looming anniversary was a very difficult part of a difficult year for the region.

“In particular, we think of the families that lost 11 loved ones through that disaster. We think also of the families that have really struggled with respect to their livelihoods and their lives and their homes and getting that back on track, and it's been a very difficult year, as I said, for this region.”

“We have visited many times into this region. We understand the issues well from opposition, but also now as a new government. And we are very determined that we actually now need to work really hard to actually make sure we can accelerate the recovery in this part of the country.”

He said the very best of New Zealander had also been seen over the past year.

“We've seen incredible acts from first responders, medical emergency staff, just everyday Kiwis, who, despite their own devastation, have gone above and beyond thinking about the community that they're part of and making a lot of extra sacrifices as a result.”

“We are very focused in our government in our first 100 days. We've talked a lot about wanting to accelerate the recovery plan here. We're very sensitive to that fact. We know that that things need to be moving quicker. And our job as the central governments, work out what can we be doing to try and accelerate and pick up the pace here as well. We know there's an awful lot more for us to do still.”

Luxon said a meeting with local mayors, key stakeholders, local Iwi, and business owners had given his Government a very good sense of the issues and what they needed to do.

“One of those major issues was, as you can see here, about silt and debris removal, which has been a real challenge in this region already. And so today I'm very pleased that Mark Mitchell and I are announcing that there'll be a $63 million boost to silt removal and debris removal here.”

Luxon also visited a Volunteer Appreciation Day at the Tōmoana Showgrounds in Hastings this afternoon.