December storm - Updated Mayor's letter

Mayor Smith has released an updated letter that can be provided to insurance companies by businesses who wish to make an insurance claim following the December Storm.

The letter can be downloaded here.


Bruce Smith
Phone 021922860
27 January 2020


Follow-up letter to the Severe Weather Event - 5-7 December 2019

This letter is to provide a further update to support people affected by the severe weather event in December 2019 that affected parts of South Westland.

For people affected who wish to lodge claims with their insurance companies for business interruption, property damage or travel insurance purposes, please print out a copy of this letter and attach it to your insurance claim form.

Westland Civil Defence was activated in response to the severe storm which isolated communities in South Westland due to damage to the State Highway infrastructure and subsequent road closures during the period 5-7 December 2019. State Highway 6 is the only route through South Westland from north to south.

Tourist flows to and from South Westland were impacted with approximately 900 visitors to the region stranded in Franz Josef Township. Local businesses and residents supported stranded tourists as well as cancel any pre-bookings for visitor experiences in the area. This disruption resulted in State Highway 6 between Harihari and Whataroa being closed from the 5 December 2019 through to 9.00 am on Friday 20 December 2019.

Further information on the road closures is available on the New Zealand Transport Agency website at
Information for affected parties

For those with damage to their property in the recent floods you are most likely insured by EQC. If you have normal house insurance then you also have natural disaster insurance through EQC.

EQC insures damage to residential property and land caused by ANY natural disaster event. That means floods, landslips, wildfires, earthquakes, etc. Any damage to residential buildings, including garages, sheds and other structures as well as the land within 8m of these buildings is insured by EQC. EQC also insure the main access way (driveway) within 60m of the house. Retaining walls that support or protect insured buildings and land are also insured.
To place a claim, contact EQC on 0800 326 243 or visit and place a claim online.

Should you require assistance please contact Council at or 0800 474 834.

Bruce Smith