A Step Forward: Cyclone Gabrielle Voluntary Buy-Out Policy Adopted

Written by Amy Cowan
Updated: 28 September 2023 

Both Hastings and Napier District Council’s confirmed in mid-September 2023 that a Voluntary Buy-Out Policy has been adopted to enable the voluntary purchase of eligible Category 3 residential properties in Hawkes’ Bay.  This is a cost-sharing scheme with the Government and negotiations are still underway.  This programme will not only allow for the voluntary buy-out it will also provide funding for urgent recovery priorities including flood mitigation, roading, and bridge repairs throughout the region.

To be eligible for the Voluntary Buy-Out Offer the land must be (or include) Category 3 Land, either of mixed-use or residential property and, as of 13 February 2023, had one or more dwellings located within the Category 3 Land.

The Voluntary Buy-Out is a staged process.  The first step is an initial meeting between the Owners, the Council and the Council’s appointed valuer.  The Owner can have a support person or professional at this meeting if desired.  There are two offers to discuss – one being the full buy-out and one being a relocation offer.  At this time a preliminary agreement will be signed recording the agreed process and what details are still to be finalised.

Once the valuation process has been completed, a formal offer will be made by the Council and an Agreement for Sale and Purchase will be presented for signing.  The Owner can pause this process at any time until this formal Agreement is signed.

There are a few additional stipulations and requirements that may still apply depending on each Owner’s circumstance.  The Council have confirmed that the Owners will be reimbursed for valuation advice and legal advice up to $5,000 for any advice provided prior to accepting the final offer and signing the formal Agreement for Sale and Purchase.  The Council has also confirmed that an additional amount of up to $5,000 is available to Owners on settlement to cover conveyancing costs.

Please contact us if you are an affected Land Owner and would like some assistance in navigating this process.

The buy-out policy is available on the Council’s website here: https://www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/assets/Document-Library/Cyclone-Land-Catergorisation-Documents/FINAL-Category-3-Residential-Property-Purchase-Policy.pdf