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Cost of February flood events

23 Feb 2022

The extreme rainfall events in early February caused significant widespread damage throughout the Buller District. Many systems and structures that were already weakened by earlier flooding were pushed to the breaking point in places.

The Buller District Council has carried out an initial damage assessment. The initial estimate places the cost of damage, caused by the two back-to-back severe weather events, between $21.5M and $43M.

“The cost of repairs will be a significant challenge for our district with a small ratepayer base which is spread thinly over a relatively large rural area” says Buller Mayor Jamie Cleine.

“We are already reeling as a community from the impact of the July flooding events” says Mr Cleine.

“We have a number of significant issues that require immediate attention, these include ongoing infrastructure assessments, removal of flood affected domestic waste, which is a problem throughout the district.”

In Reefton the floodwaters have exposed a historic landfill and the Westport Water supply has been severely compromised. On top of this, the roading network has suffered widespread damage.”

“The rural community is badly affected with 70 farms impacted district wide. Assessments by Ministry of Primary Industries are pending.”

“Our infrastructure teams are continuing to assess and quantify the damage around the district. The list of repair works is continuing to grow.

These events were unprecedented and repairing the damage is going to take time and it will be costly.”


For more information contact:
Buller District Mayor
Jamie Cleine