West Aucklanders search for answers on future of flood-damaged homes

Rebuild or retreat? That's the question around 200 West Aucklanders put to politicians this afternoon about the future of their flood damaged homes.

"18 months ago we got hit," said Tracey Riddell, a home owner in Rānui.

"We spent the year rebuilding, getting it back to a liveable lovely home, and lost it on the 27th", said her partner Damien Davis, referring to the Auckland Anniversary floods.

It's an issue many across West Auckland are facing.

Every time there's severe rain, Riddell gets anxious. She's holding off on taking an insurance pay out.

"Move back, rebuild, and get hit again by another flood? Or take the payment out for the reinstatement and financial ruin? Because nobody's going to buy our property again."

Te Atatū MP Phil Twyford said the answer is managed retreat.

"It's going to mean I think some voluntary buyouts hopefully, which will enable us to create parks and flood reserves around these streams in West Auckland that flooded so badly," he said.

But when can residents expect any progress on this?

"The ministers haven't put a timeline on it," he said. "They are currently working with insurance companies and the councils."

National's cyclone recovery spokesperson, Chris Penk, said too much time's been lost already.

"We need to really allow authorities to crack on – we need to get banks and insurers in the same room to work out what's going to be feasible."

Riddell supports a managed retreat plan: "For us, it looks like paying us out for at least just the land value."

"We can't wait for a climate change bill or anything like that," said Davis. "It has to happen now."


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