About 700 homeowners nationally will get Government and council buyout offers after suffering damage in cyclones earlier this year. Areas badly hit by cyclones have been designated a category depending on the extent of damage and the potential for rebuilding. Category 3 could be likened to Christchurch’s ‘red zone’ where properties were deemed high risk and unsafe to rebuild there, and these property owners would be offered a buyout. The maps for Hawke’s Bay show the areas that fall in each of three categories, with a caveat that they are provisional and have not yet been reviewed. A large part of Esk Valley falls within category 3 – where the risk may be so great that property cannot be rebuilt there. From mid-June onwards, local Councils will commence the next stage of the process which will involve engagement directly with property owners and impacted residents in each area. Fernhill grower Jonty Moffett lost everything as the Ngaruroro River backing onto his 200ha property tore through huge stopbanks, losing 95% of his crop his orchards and the family home.
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