Government extends aid for weather-hit homeowners

Minister reaffirms government's commitment to New Zealanders

Government extends aid for weather-hit homeowners

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

New Zealand homeowners displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will benefit from an extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance (TAA) until June 30, 2025.

Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston said the government remains dedicated to aiding those forced from their homes by the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023, as well as the August 2022 floods affecting the top of the South Island.

The extension of TAA is intended to help individuals manage additional accommodation expenses due to uninhabitable homes.

“We know some people impacted by these weather events are doing it tough by having to cover costs on their uninhabitable homes, like mortgage payments, rates, and insurance, while also paying for temporary accommodation,” she said. “Extending this payment for another year will help them bridge the gap until repairs are undertaken or a decision is made on the future of their property.”

Expanded eligibility criteria

Effective April 1, the government expanded the TAA eligibility criteria to include:

  • homeowners whose houses are uninhabitable but did not receive red or yellow placards from their councils
  • individuals without insurance for their affected properties due to reasons beyond their control, despite reasonable efforts to secure coverage
  • various temporary accommodations previously ineligible, including flats, house-sharing agreements, hire agreements for cabins, mobile homes or caravans, lodging or boarding arrangements, or commercial accommodation

“The government is focused on helping Kiwis who are doing it tough right now,” Upston said. “Budget 2024 laid out the foundations for growth in New Zealand by stopping wasteful government spending, investing in frontline services like healthcare, schools, and the police, and delivering tax relief to help hard working Kiwis with the cost of living.”

The Earthquake Commission of New Zealand (EQC) Toka Tū Ake also bolstered the country’s natural disaster resilience by securing $9.2 billion in reinsurance, a substantial increase from the reinsurance cover in the previous year.

“The continued growth of the programme demonstrates the confidence the international market has in our national insurance scheme,” said EQC chief executive Tina Mitchell. “Once again, we have been really well supported by our reinsurance partners, with many substantially increasing the amount of capital they have committed to the programme.”

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