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Cyclone relief fund payments underway

Wednesday 10 May, 2023

More than $2.1 million has already been paid out from the $3.4 million of donations to help our region recover from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz thanked everyone who had applied for financial help and managed to get the quotes they needed submitted, so their application could be processed.

“Applications have now closed, and we received 391 individual applications.

“We’ve already paid out $2.1 million dollars with a further $300,000 being processed for payment. This includes payments to 149 applicants, as well as one-off payments to 221 property owners who received either a red or yellow sticker on their property and $500,000 towards silt removal.”

Mayor Stoltz says of the remaining applications still to be paid, 36 are in the process of having a payment made and 206 applications are still being assessed.

“Every application goes through a rigorous assessment and sign-off process.

“Our region has been through so much and every donation made a difference to those adversely affected. We are grateful for the kind support from across Aotearoa.”

The Government kick-started the donations with $1 million dollars in funding to the Mayoral Relief Fund in February. Over the next two months, donations to Tairāwhiti from the public soared to $2.4 million. The cyclone relief funds were combined to help individual residents.

The impacts of this cyclone have made it the most expensive storm we’ve ever had to recover from as a region.

“This is not to mention the mental toll it has had on many residents.

“We are determined to build back smarter so that we can withstand future impacts from serious weather events better.

“Helping people get their properties back in order is a huge step to rebuilding as a whole – 47 per cent of payments were to applicants who reported damage to houses and possessions, with 32 per cent going towards silt inundations and access.”

Mayor Stoltz says properties that required silt removal were on top of these applications.

“A portion of this money was set aside for silt removal on residential properties and there were 118 properties on this list. So far 100 properties have had silt removed and 18 properties are in the process of having silt removed.”