Saturday, April 20, 2024

PM launches cyclone Lotto, saying ‘we will rebound’

Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, has announced an international fundraising appeal and a special Lotto draw to support Cyclone Gabrielle recovery efforts in communities across the North Island.

The Appeal has been modelled on the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, which raised more than $94 million to assist with the rebuild and revitalisation of Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake. 

“We will rebound from Gabrielle by building back better, safer, and smarter. This global appeal means we can harness local and international donations and channel them to the communities and projects that need them the most,” PM Hipkins said.

“Gabrielle – and before that, the Auckland floods – has affected millions of people and many thousands of businesses and farmers.     

“The regions affected account for around 30% of New Zealand’s land area and are special to so many people, both here and abroad. So, I know there will be a real appetite to support them to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“Supporting the appeal and the Lotto draw is a great way of showing we’ve got each other’s backs, supporting those who’ve had their lives upended and so desperately need their communities rebuilt.”

The Prime Minister said he felt a sense of national unity in the wake of the Cyclone.

“…and it’s humbling to see so many already making donations and offers of assistance. Every little bit makes a difference,” he said.

“This appeal will focus on the medium to long term recovery projects which ensure affected regions build back better with greater resilience and are better prepared to withstand the next extreme weather event.  

“As we saw in Christchurch it’s the facilities where people come together which so often need the most help. Be it sports clubs, marae or community halls there is huge need across multiple affected regions.

“We will be looking at how we can harness both the public and private sectors to get in behind the appeal, making the most of our international connections as well as looking to fundraising efforts here at home too.”

Mr Hipkins thanked Westpac and Clemenger BBDO who he said had worked tirelessly over recent days to make the appeal a reality.

“Thanks too to Meta for their support to promote the appeal,” he said.

The special Lotto draw will be held on Saturday 18 March, with all proceeds going to communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Lotto New Zealand is fundamentally driven to raise funds for our communities. With the help of generous New Zealanders, relief organisations and those affected will be supported to recover and rebuild,” said Internal Affairs Minister, Barbara Edmonds.

“The Cyclone Gabrielle Appeal will be overseen by a Charitable Trust with Department of Internal Affairs Chief Executive Paul James, former mayor of Napier Barbara Arnott, and Chairman of Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou Selwyn Parata as the Trustees.

“Our goal with the fund is to reduce uncertainty for communities by offering long-term support. Through government backing of the appeal, we are ensuring there is a secure well-governed structure to administer donations and oversee the distribution of funds.

“The appeal will also complement the outstanding work Red Cross, mayoral relief funds, corporate partners and local fundraisers have done in raising money to help deal with the immediate response.

“We want to make contributing as easy as possible. Alongside the appeal website and text to donate function, all major banks will be accepting cash donations over the counter. I want to thank the banking sector for providing this accessible option and their unwavering support for the efforts ahead.

“I’ve seen the enormous ‘all hands on deck’ community response to the devastation. It’s taken its toll and there is clearly a huge need out there which we can all show our support for,” Ms Edmonds said.

Donations can be made at:

  • Appeal website: www.cycloneappeal.govt.nz
  • TXT GIVE to 2454 to donate $3 to the Cyclone Appeal
  • Internet banking: Cyclone Gabrielle Appeal Fund, 03 0251 0040146 00
  • Over the counter at all trading banks.

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