Mayoral relief fund supports those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle
More than $1.6 million has been distributed from the Hastings Mayoral Relief Fund to people in the community impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.
A significant portion of this has been the $2000 one-off support payments for owners of red and yellow-stickered properties, on offer since May this year.
Since that time, 685 properties have received the payment, totalling $1.37m. A handful of eligible properties have not taken up the offer to date and have until November 30 this year to do so – otherwise the money will be reallocated to the fund.
The process has been stringent to ensure payments are allocated to the rightful owner, and has required a proactive approach to ensure owners are aware they are eligible and to obtain authorisation. This has involved communication with owners via email, phone, post and face to face.
In addition to these payments, 75 grants have been allocated to individuals or groups supporting the recovery, totalling $323,500.
This has included financial assistance for cleaning up people’s properties, staging concerts in rural town halls, providing counselling and support, putting on community events, and supporting those who established community hubs.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the fund was raised through an allocation from the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust, along with generous public and business donations, including almost $90,000 from Whanganui District Council, donated by members of the Whanganui community.
“It has been heartening to be able to offer some measure of financial relief for many people and groups who were impacted by this devastating event.
“As well as providing assistance for those people whose homes were damaged, this fund has gone towards supporting the efforts of many people and groups in the community helping with cleaning up, cooking or distributing meals, putting on concerts, and so much more.
“The support people have shown one another in the community has been amazing.”
The remainder of the Hastings Mayoral Relief Fund will continue to be used for people affected by the cyclone or supporting the recovery.