‘Fixing an anomoly’
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazelhurst initially agreed to an interview with Newshub but changed her mind after learning it was about this buyout policy change, saying she’d talk about it after it’s been voted on at Thursday’s meeting.
A press release from the HDC said the the change is to “fix an anomaly” in the policy, because it allows owners of fully insured properties to retain a portion of their insurance policies intended to cover the cost of demolishing their flood affected dwelling.
“We are seeking to strike the right balance between being fair and reasonable to both impacted property owners and ratepayers. We want impacted property owners to have the ability to move on with their lives and establish themselves in safer areas,” said council strategy and development group manager Craig Cameron. “We also need to be fair to ratepayers who are helping to fund this important work.”
But Gale said the change will hit people in the pocket.
“Every insurance policy is different, some include demolition costs some don’t – it’s all individual and they’re lumping it together.”
Residents aren’t just disappointed with local Government. Parsons said central Government is nowhere to be seen after campaigning so hard for Hawke’s Bay’s vote last year.
“The politicians that made these campaign promises need to come see us now and tell us how they’re going to deliver them cause there’s pretty much radio silence.”
Promises such as creating a ‘Category 2W’ for those in Category 3 who want to stay put – but with an early flood warning system in place.
That was something National seemed to support when campaigning last year, when then-cyclone spokesperson Chris Penk told Newshub: “The concept of 2W works because we want to understand if people can be made safe using the right warnings, then they should be allowed to remain.”
But his colleague, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell, appears to have missed that.
“No, I don’t think there was any National support for or against it – I think it was just highlighted in a meeting,” he said.
A meeting held in July last year, when residents called for a flood warning system.
“We’re one year on, so we’re just as at risk as we were before the cyclone,” said Parsons.