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Relief fund opening up

Applications are now open for financial support from the Wairarapa Mayoral Relief Fund for people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The fund has been boosted by a $100,000 contribution from the Trust House Foundation, $75,000 from central government, and nearly $17,000 from Ashburton District Council as part of Local Government NZ’s Adopt-a-community initiative. It has also been well supported by donations from people across the region.

Applications to the Mayoral Relief Fund will be assessed by the Wairarapa Recovery Governance Group, made up of: the three Wairarapa mayors, iwi representatives, regional recovery managers, the WREMO Group Recovery Manager, a Greater Wellington Regional Council representative, and a Regional Public Service Commissioner.

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell has welcomed the start of the application process.

“There has been a tremendous response to the Mayoral Relief Fund, and we want to hear from people who need this financial support.

“There will be some tough decisions to be made in allocating funds, but I have no doubt that the money will go to where it is most needed and where it will be most effective.”

Carterton Mayor Ron Mark said the aim was to respond to applications quickly.

“We thank the Trust House Foundation for their contribution, central government, and our neighbouring councils for their support in establishing both the mayoral fund and the business support package.

“Our aim now is to make accessing these funds as quick and easy as possible for those most affected.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Martin Connelly urged people impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle to apply to the fund.

“South Wairarapa is pleased to be partnering with our neighbouring councils to be able to offer this help.

“Having a dedicated website for anyone in Wairarapa impacted by a major event to seek information on the help available is easy and effective.

“Cyclone Gabrielle has caused much damage and loss, and I urge our residents to consider applying to the Mayoral Relief Fund if they have been impacted. That’s what it has been set up for.”

For applications under the Mayoral Relief Fund, priority will be given to: The provision of essentials for daily life; transport needs and household contents; rebuild/recovery costs of buildings damaged by water or storm damage; and essential items not covered by insurance or other funds.

The fund is only available to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle in February this year.

The recovery website will have details of other support funding available through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for businesses, Ministry for Primary Industries for farmers, growers, and whenua Maori owners, and Civil Defence payments through Work and Income.

The website www.wairaraparecovery.nz will enable online applications, with hard-copy application forms available at the three Wairarapa district councils. – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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