The Christchurch City Council has now presented the ministerial briefing paper to Minister Gerry Brownlee regarding temporary flood defence measures.
A key purpose of the briefing is to propose specific actions the Crown may wish to consider supporting the Council in delivering short term solutions.It is encouraging to see the holistic consideration the taskforce has given to supporting flood affected residents outlining both engineering and financial supports.
Let’s hope that the government is not scared off by the idea of setting precedent by providing access to accommodation assistance. The original purpose of the Temporary Accommodation Assistance was to support those who were going to be out of their homes for an extreme amount of time through not fault of their own awaiting repairs therefore exhausting insurance accommodation cover. The issue facing flood residents is the same because they are not just awaiting flood repairs; they awaiting land settlement certainty, earthquake repairs, flood mitigation, …
It is also worth noting the bold move CCC has taken by suggesting the Building Act be amended so homes with an increased flood vulnerability can have their floor levels raised. I imagine there are many holding their breath on this point alone.
Please see the summary points below:
2.1 Short term assistance for worst affected households
- Earthquake Support Co-ordinators
Request that the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) agree to extend its services to households impacted by earthquake- related flooding.
- Earthquake Temporary Village
Request the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment to recommend changes to Cabinet, to the eligibility criteria for tenancy within the Earthquake Temporary Village(s) to accommodate people dislocated by the effects of flooding due to earthquake damage to their property.
- Temporary Relocation / accommodation support
Work with the Council and insurers to develop a financial assistance/relocation package to assist people who are required to leave their homes as a result of repeated inundation, which has made their homes uninhabitable, or where the health risks associated with continued occupation cannot be addressed in an acceptable timeframe.
2.2 Resourcing and collaboration
- Continued support for an open and transparent relationship and data sharing between CERA, EQC, and CCC to actively problem solve these householders impacted as a result of the recent flood events, where the impact of the earthquakes has been a contributing factor to their new circumstances.
- Ensure the SCIRT work programme is properly aligned and co-ordinated with the Land Drainage Recovery Programme (LDRP) and any short term flood protection measures being undertaken.
- Provide CCC access to red zone dwellings for pilot house protection demonstration project.
- Consider establishing a joint CCC/Crown short term flood defence fund in the order of $2m to provide a fund for rapid implementation of minor flood mitigation measures for properties subject to Increased Flooding Vulnerability (IFV) as a result of the Canterbury Earthquakes where immediate benefits can be realised. These measures could include house level or neighbourhood protections.
See the full report here. Please note that although the report says, ‘confidential’ it has now been publicly released.
• Seek the assistance of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to investigate ways in which the Building Act 2004 could be amended to require the floor level of a building to be raised where that property is subject to increased flooding vulnerability, as a result of earthquake damage to the land and or buildings.