Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Marlborough relief fund floated

Marlborough Mayor, John Leggett, has announced the establishment of a Mayoral Relief Fund to assist the region in its recovery effort following the recent weather event.

In announcing the fund, Mayor Leggett thanked Emergency Management Minister, Kieran McAnulty (pictured) for the central government contribution to the fund and for taking the time to visit Marlborough on Monday to see the extent of the flood damage to our communities.

Mayor Leggett said the event has been significant and the recovery ahead will be another long journey.

“It is a bitter pill to swallow but we must accept it and get on with the job at hand, and we are. Many of our local roads, in particular the Marlborough Sounds, will likely be inaccessible or affected for some time to come,” said Mayor Leggett.

“Rest assured we will be doing all we can to get our communities connected again as quickly as possible, but it is going to take time.

“We will continue our work with the emergency team and the many Marlborough-based agencies, organisations and iwi over the coming days, weeks and months ahead, to get our region back up and running as soon as possible,” he said.

The fund will be primarily available to Marlborough District Council area residents who have suffered personal financial or emotional hardship because of the August 2022 Marlborough rain event.

The Government will make a further $200,000 contribution to Mayoral Relief Funds across Nelson Tasman and Marlborough, Minister McAnulty confirmed during his visit.

Marlborough will receive $100,000 and an additional $100,000 will be contributed to Nelson Tasman to support these communities in their recovery.

“This past week has been really tough on the top of the South Island, with a long and challenging recovery ahead,” Mr McAnulty said.

“This additional contribution will support these communities as they assess the full extent of the damage and begin the clean-up.

“Given the size of the job, there is likely to be more support needed from the Government – but this contribution will help these regions tackle the most urgent areas of need while the scope of damage is still being assessed.

“Local communities and councils understand where the immediate needs are and how to help. Mayoral Relief Funds help local communities to support whānau, community organisations and marae after an emergency.”

Mayoral Relief Funds have previously been used for recovery activities such as cleaning septic tanks, filling water tanks, re-establishing damaged boundary fence lines and clearing debris from properties.

“I want to give my wholehearted thanks to everyone who’s done the hard yards over the past week – the regional Civil Defence groups, volunteers, emergency services, contractors and lifelines workers, Waka Kotahi NZTA for their mahi getting roads cleared, and kindly neighbours checking in on each other. This community has really pulled together and it’s wonderful to see.”

“The impacts of this event are spread across a wide geographical areas which makes the recovery difficult. I’ll be checking in with the Council on Thursday to see what additional support from Government may be needed.

“Please keep following advice and instructions from Civil Defence and Council. Stay safe, don’t take any chances,” Mr McAnulty said.

The funds are in addition to other targeted support that may be available from agencies such as the Ministry for Primary Industries who provide support through the Rural Support Trusts, the Ministry of Social Development who can help meet immediate needs through existing services, as well as providing Civil Defence payments which are available for those impacted by a civil defence emergency to cover expenses such as food, clothing, accommodation or loss of livelihood, and Waka Kotahi who will manage the roading recovery programme.

Mayoral Relief Funds are intended to help fill gaps quickly where an immediate need exists. It’s not a replacement for insurance and costs covered by other funding sources.

People wishing to donate to the Marlborough Mayoral Relief fund can do so online via online banking. Simply add the Marlborough District Council’s account number: 02-0600-0202861-00 and include ‘Mayoral Fund’ as a reference. Alternatively, people can make payments to the fund at Council reception in Blenheim.

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