NZ Herald: Mark Mitchell

NZ Herald: Half a billion dollars and more to make Wellington resilient

Featured below is an excerpt from The New Zealand Herald:

Half a billion dollars is being spent on things some Wellingtonians may never see so the city can be prepared if disaster strikes.

Resilience jumps to the forefront of the public’s minds each time a natural event such as the Kaikōura earthquake creates a rude awakening, but there is a fairly sharp drop-off too, Mayor Justin Lester said.

“I attended close to 50 public meetings as we headed towards the 2016 election,” he said.

“I don’t think in any instance did anybody talk about resilience, not a member of the public . . . post-earthquake in November 2016, all of a sudden everybody was interested.”

Lester said research has shown people have a six-month window where resilience is “of acute awareness for them”, but that awareness drops off “pretty much immediately” after half a year.

Nevertheless he believes people are happy Wellington City Council is planning to spend about a quarter billion dollars over the next 10 years to prepare for the worst, with another quarter billion coming in from other areas.

“If we invest $2.5 billion, that could save New Zealand taxpayers about $6b in the aftermath of a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. It still costs a lot of money but there’s a massive saving.”

Much of the allocated spending is going towards “the three waters” – water, wastewater, and stormwater.

Read the rest of the story in The New Zealand Herald.