A Word from the Mayor

16 February 2017

Even three months on from the 14th November Earthquake, I cannot contemplate writing a column without further commenting on this devastating event, how life is unfolding in our District, and how much has changed and is still changing.

Dealing with the earthquakes aftermath and progressing the Districts recovery continues as a high priority for many of us, and understandably will continue to consume a huge amount of time and effort for many local people and the Council, as well as place significant demands on Central Government, Ministers and Ministry Officials.

This event, largely well hidden in the northern hills of Hurunui, is easily forgotten and little understood by those not directly affected, but the devastation and heartbreak for those families is as real and as hard as it is for those whose plight is more visible.

Doing everything possible to regain some level of normality was the most important thing and was our key priority from the first moments.

Immediate temporary road repairs to enable children to return to school and farms and business to resume normal operations, immediately relieved stress, as did repairs to water supplies, power supply and communications.

Securing temporary housing has been challenging, but pragmatic, innovative and cost effective solutions already put in place, or planned by many landowners is commendable, leaving the Government’s portable housing available to hopefully satisfy most of the remaining urgent need.

Good quality temporary housing is essential to avoid unacceptable levels of stress for those with destroyed or badly damaged homes, especially for those with young families, as once again, it is not well recognised that many of these homes are located in a very harsh climate, with long cold winters.

As I indicated last time we are doing everything possible to assist our residents with their issues.

Regular information bulletins are being distributed through your local newsletters, and the Community Caravan Hub has visited many locations, with staff in attendance to give you every assistance.

A number of workshops around the District have been facilitated to assist you with applications to the Rural Recovery Fund.

A District events calendar is being developed to ensure the numerous events being planned for the Drought and Earthquake recovery are well managed.


Winton Dalley