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100k lift for Mayoral Relief Fund

Wairarapa’s Mayoral Relief Fund for Cyclone Gabrielle recovery has received a $100,000 boost from the Trust House Foundation.

This donation adds to the $75,000 received through the government’s response to the cyclone and the many other donations being generously given by Wairarapa residents.

It has also been bolstered by Ashburton and Mackenzie district councils, which have adopted Masterton District Council as part of a scheme in which areas of the country unaffected by the cyclone support those that have been.

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell said every donation had a significant impact on those most affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“The Trust House Foundation’s donation is a massive boost, and I know will mean so much to our local community. I am incredibly grateful for their generosity at a time when our locals really need the help,” Caffell said.

“I am completely aware of how hard times are for many right now – and I am floored by the generosity of so many people donating what they can to help out.

Carterton Mayor Ron Mark also welcomed the boost.

“It remains crucial that people and organisations can support Wairarapa folk who have been devastated by this cyclone, and that there is confidence the funds they donate will be used fairly, wisely and impartially.

“My mayoral colleagues and I will determine where the priorities are, and who will receive funding, based on the cyclone’s impact and the needs of our local communities.

“Our Rural Advisory Group will act as a link into Council for Carterton’s rural community. It will provide quality and timely advice on rural matters, which is especially important
during challenging times.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Martin Connelly thanked the Trust House Foundation, the government, and every resident who had made a donation to the Wairarapa Mayoral Relief Fund.

“We are very fortunate to have the support of central government, local organisations and residents to help the recovery of those affected by the storm,” he said.

Connelly said the relief fund’s purpose was to ensure people who needed support got it, and he expected the application process for mayoral relief support would be made public soon.

Masterton Trust Lands Trust [MTLT] has also lent its support to recovery efforts – reaching out to Tinui School to help replace educational materials lost in the flooding that swept through the building.

Although Tinui School is not within the trust’s district, it wanted to help anyway, MTLT chair Christine Brewster said.

The trust has collected stationery, games, teacher supplies, and headphones for the students.

“I think it’s hard for us to realise what those kids are going through,” Brewster said.

“I just want to see them not suffering and having something to look forward to. Simple, really.”

Recovery manager Ben Jessep said he was overwhelmed by the public response to the call for help.

“It genuinely feels like an entire country has galvanised to help our east coast communities.

“The recovery will take some time – but how can we not succeed with so much generosity and so many supporting us?”

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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