Govt to cover Edgecumbe clean-up bill

11:14 am on 9 May 2017

The government has announced it will foot the bill for the clean-up of flood-damaged houses in Edgecumbe, including for home-owners without insurance.

A property in Edgecumbe after the river Rangataiki breached a stopbank and flooded the majority of the town causing the evacuation of 1600 residents.  Thursday 6 April 2017

A property in Edgecumbe after the river Rangataiki breached a stopbank and flooded the majority of the town causing the evacuation of 1600 residents. Thursday 6 April 2017 Photo: RNZ/ Brad White

About 70 percent of the properties in the Bay of Plenty town were flooded after the Rangitāiki River burst its banks last month.

The Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Gerry Brownlee, said the government will pick up the tab to ensure work can get underway.

He said cost-sharing arrangements were being finalised with the Whakatāne District Council.

Last week the Whakatāne District Council announced plans to have all yellow-stickered Edgecumbe houses fixed and habitable by Christmas.

Whakatāne mayor Tony Bonne said there were about 100 houses, mostly within Edgecumbe, where the owners did not have the funds or insurance to repair their homes after last month's floods.

"There's no way we want those homes to sit and rot because their owners do not have the means required to get them back to a liveable standard," Mr Bonne said.

Contractors working for the commission had already cleared silt and debris from about 17 properties.

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