In the depths of Winter it’s easy to overlook some of the brighter points in our post-earthquake journey so I wanted to take some time this week to say thank you and to draw attention to some of the positives we’ve seen since the earthquake.
The Kaikoura Mayoral relief fund was established shortly after the earthquake. The fund was set up to give those who wanted to give our District a helping hand a way to donate and to give Council a way to help some of our worst affected residents.
Since the fund was established it has received over $150,000 of donations. Donations ranged from a few dollars to several thousand and came from individuals and organisations including schools and preschools, charities, Councils, gyms, bands and Kiwis living overseas. A special thanks to those who raised donations through local fundraising efforts.
The Mayoral Fund has made a big difference to our District and on behalf of our residents I’d like to thank each and every person who has donated to the fund. Your donations have helped to pay bills, keep people warm, get them to medical appointments or put a roof over their heads. For many residents of our District, life after the earthquake has been, and continues to be very hard. Funds like the Mayoral Fund can make the world of difference so thank you. Thank you for your generosity and your support.
By the end of June the fund had paid out 111 payments totalling over $42,000. These payments have helped ease times of hardship, covering basic necessities including:
- Power bills
- Travel costs
- Medical bills
- Water tanks
- Basic homewares
I’m really pleased to see more residents now applying to use the fund to help with the costs of heating over the winter months. Many homes have lost their heat source through damage to chimneys or fireplaces. That has meant that people are having to use heaters that double or triple their normal power bill. Our community outreach team, ‘R you ok, Kaikoura?’, have also been encouraging people to apply as part of their door to door checks on people’s wellbeing.
Because the fund is a hardship grant, exactly how much you get depends on your need. It also means that people who have successfully applied once may be still be able to receive a second grant. If you or someone you care about is facing hardship after the quakes please do apply.
Applications for the fund are still open and a committee made up of myself, Councillors and a local representative meets monthly to review applications and approve payments.
Find out more here or by calling Council.
Gave a little, changed a lot
After the earthquake a ‘Give a little’ page called ‘Earthquake Fund Kaikoura’ raised $40,000 for the residents of Kaikoura, Marlborough and Hurunui. In March these funds were divided up and each District received $13,072. In Kaikoura, residents then applied for funds on behalf of others they knew could use a helping hand. The funds went to 37 recipients as chosen by the Mayoral Fund committee with all money paid out by 17th March.
Since the earthquake our District has received over $20 million of central government funding. That funding is being used to help meet rebuild costs, cover community services and needs and used to support environmental protection and sustainability work. Separate money has also been received for marketing and tourism efforts.
Thanks to the generosity of organisations including Lotteries and the Rata Foundation, the Red Cross, the Rural Support Trust, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Kuri, Te Puni Kōkiri, Whānau Ora Agencies, Sports Tasman, Sports NZ and JR McKenzie Trust we’ve also received a lot of other funding and support. This funding has been used for community events and programmes and to help provide basic supplies to those who need them most. The recent announcement by the Lottery Grants Board to allocate another $7.5 million for the 2017/18 financial year to "continue support for the communities affected by the Kaikoura earthquake" is very exciting and we look forward to working with them over the next few months to see what this means for us.
Mayor Winston Gray, July 26