Cabinet agrees funding to help rebuild Matata
Civil Defence Minister Rick Barker was delighted to announce Cabinet agreed today to contribute a further $3 million to
help rebuild Matata.
Mr Barker said "this money will help the Whakatane District Council, the people of Matata and other agencies to rebuild
the township and be confident that the disastrous and life-threatening flooding that hit the area in May will not happen
Government had indicated its willingness to consider supporting the Whakatane Distrcit Council's Matata regeneration
package, and noted that there have been precedents for the government contributing up to one third of the capital costs
of measures to reduce future risk in particular circumstances.
"Working collaboratively with central and local agencies and the community, we have come through. In total, government
expenditure on response and recovery and risk mitigation for the Matata area is likely to top $20.8 million.
“Without this assistance the major civil engineering work necessary to enable Matata to safely regenerate would be
unaffordable for the District Council and would place an unsustainable burden on the district’s ratepayers," said Mr
The assistance package will help fund the proposed civil engineering works and other works around the town. These
A 17-metre high debris dam on the Awatarariki Stream
A bund on the side of the Waitepuru Stream to control the direction of future debris flows
An ex-gratia $100,000 payment to the District Council to help employ a manager for two years to oversee the regeneration
A decision on funding to help manage the effects of flooding on the Matata Lagoon – of which the western end was
devastated in the May floods has been defferred for a report to be developed and for further consultation
Construction of the debris dam and bund is expected to necessitate the purchase of a small number of neighbouring
The Government assistance package will also contribute to flood-proofing upgrades of State Highway 2 and the rail line
linking Kawerau and the Port of Tauranga – which both pass through the township and which were both badly damaged in the
May floods. This will include expanding and realigning culverts and upgrading bridges. The total cost is likely to be
around $4.5 million for State Highway-related works and $3,875,000 for rail-related works.
Mr Barker says that Transit New Zealand and ONTRACK have both responded positively to the Whakatane District Council’s
requests that the road and rail infrastructure be configured so as reduce the risk of future flooding to the Matata
Mr Barker congratulated the Whakatane District Council, Transit New Zealand, ONTRACK and the Matata community for their
work on preparing the regeneration plan.
“It’s been a difficult time for all concerned since the May floods – but I’m pleased that the effort that went into the
Council’s business case has paid off – because the business case is a good one and it signals a renewed, bright future
“This is the first time that the Government has taken the approach of encouraging the affected community to develop an
integrated regeneration package straight after a civil defence emergency.
Mr Barker noted that it has taken four months to design a set of solutions, and three months for the community to decide
on the options it wanted. This amount of time was necessary to reach a solution that was both sound and supported by the
council and its community.
"The Matata package had come out of a good process and I'm delighted that we have met the deadline and found a
"We have a plan for the future, the Whakatane District Council and the Government have committed the funds and we can
now start to rebuild Matata.
"The Wait is over," said Mr Barker.