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Funding agreement for Flood Resilience Steering Group confirmed

28 Sep 2023

Buller District Council considered its chief executive’s report at last night’s full Council meeting which, among other things, confirmed the funding agreement with the Department of Internal affairs (DIA) for the Resilient Westport Steering Group. 

Earlier this year, the government announced it was committing $22.9 million to co-invest in Westport’s flood resilience. Half of the funding is to be paid out in the 2023-2024 financial year and the balance the following year.  

Of this, $2.93 million was set aside for the Westport Kawatiri Steering group to deliver on a number of agreed purposes including: 

  • support for the governance costs of the steering group including the independent chair and administrative services ($0.182 million) 
  • feasibility study into future strategic land purchase ($0.25 million) 
  • develop a plan to guide future development activities including future land-use, open spaces and infrastructure ($0.5 million) 
  • provide ongoing support to those in hardship to undertake property or area level flood resilience measures (Adaptation Relief Fund $2.0 million).    

Funding includes remunerating Steering Group chair Mike Mendonça who will receive $1,100 per day (GST exclusive), based on one to two days (maximum) work per week. 

As chair, Mr Mendonça’s tasks include:  

  • Convening and overseeing administration of the Steering Group;  
  • Co-ordinating parties to ensure efficiency and integration of effort;  
  • Act as spokesperson for Steering Group matters;  
  • Oversee mechanisms for escalation of risk and removal of obstacles;  
  • Obtain endorsements by the West Coast Regional Council and Buller District Council of requests for funding drawdowns to DIA; and  
  • Oversee the smooth running of the secretariat function of the Steering Group. 

Buller District Council chief executive officer Steve Gibling says signing the agreement with DIA is a good step forward. 

“It is great to have clarification on the key areas of focus from the DIA funding and cement the pathway for that funding and the Chair’s responsibilities. This is all helps the West Coast Regional Council and ourselves move ahead in helping to protect Westport and surrounds from future flood events. 

“There is no cost to the council from participating in this agreement, but it is a key part of the process for Council to endorse my actions in signing it.”  

For more information read go to our Resilient Westport Package project page.


further information please contact: 
Chief Executive Officer  
Steve Gibling