Further government support for Whakatāne community

Minister of Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare has today confirmed an extra $50,000 to assist the Whakatāne community with immediate needs following the eruption of Whakaari White Island.

The contribution will be made to the Whakatāne District Council Mayoral Relief Fund and follows an earlier Government contribution of $50,000 to the fund.

“Our focus since the eruption has been on supporting those affected by this tragic event,” Minister Henare said.

“There have also been flow on effects for the Whakatāne community, and in particular local iwi, who are shouldering the costs associated with undertaking cultural protocols, and caring for family and whanau of the deceased who have travelled to the region in the last week.

Mayoral Relief Funds can be used to alleviate hardship where financial support is not available through general sources of finance, such as Work and Income or insurance. These funds are used to meet the needs of affected individuals and families, community organisations and marae, and their associated facilities and infrastructure.

Minister Henare says the eruption has disrupted many lives and livelihoods, and acknowledged the work of the Whakatāne District Council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, as well as supporting agencies and the community for their response.

“Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa have demonstrated great leadership in supporting the Whakatāne community in response to this tragic event.

“Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, side by side with the Whakatāne community, have come together to care for those affected by this terrible and tragic event.

“I have seen first-hand the tremendous support and manaakitanga Ngāti Awa have provided, such as providing food and accommodation for extended families and whānau and a number of other visitors. Many families have commented on how important and special that was to them.

“The massive local effort during the response will continue through the long and complex recovery ahead, and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa will play an important part in the recovery process.”

Recovery for this event is being led regionally by the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, working in partnership with Whakatāne District Council and Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa