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Deadline looming for cyclone relief

Today is the last opportunity to apply for grants from Wairarapa’s Mayoral Relief Fund, set up to help those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

More than $170,000 from the fund has already been paid to a total of 19 applicants.

The money has gone to help about 30 adults and 25 children, plus one organisation providing community support, a spokesperson said.

Applications to the fund will close at 5pm today, as will applications for the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation Business Support funding for businesses affected by the cyclone.

Decisions on applications for business support funding will be made after applications close.

All applications to the Mayoral Relief Fund will be considered by the Wairarapa Recovery Governance Group, which includes all three Wairarapa mayors.

Governance group chair Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell urged anyone in need to apply now.

“The Relief Fund is finite, but I would urge anyone with a genuine need to apply now,” he said.

“Our community has been very generous in building up the Mayoral Relief Fund, as have our friends in Ashburton District, who contributed $17,000.

“It’s great to see money going to where it is needed,” Caffell said.

Priority for grants is being given to those who need to pay for the essentials for daily life, transport needs, and household contents.

Funding is also prioritised for rebuilding and recovery costs of buildings damaged by water or storm damage.

Funding can also be given for essential items not covered by insurance or other funds.

The Business Recovery Grants programme has been established to support viable businesses in Wairarapa that were significantly impacted as a direct result of Cyclone Gabrielle, to assist with specific business needs.

The $250,000 funding available through Wairarapa Recovery is to address cyclone-impacted businesses’ immediate cash-flow needs, with a secondary objective of positioning businesses for a successful recovery.

Applications for both forms of financial support can be made through the Wairarapa Recovery website
www.wairaraparecovery.nz – with hard copy application forms available at council offices and libraries throughout Wairarapa.

All Ministry of Primary Industries funds, including the farmer and grower recovery grants and the rural sector funding, have now closed.

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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