Support for fire-hit Waiharara community

The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says.

“I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents and the wider community, and to offer the Government’s support.

“My thoughts go out to all those who have had their Christmas-New Year break turned upside down and I want to assure them that the Government is committed to doing what it can to help get the community back on its feet,” Kiri Allan said

“It is still too early to understand the full impact of this blaze, but we want to ensure there is minimal delay in supporting those worst affected.”

While no homes had been destroyed in the fire, there were still significant impacts on people that would need to be addressed.

“While we are focusing on the most vulnerable at this stage, those who have suffered loss or damage should know the Government will support them where it can and help this close-knit community get back to some normality as soon as possible.

“We will stay in contact with Mayor Carter to see what further assistance may be needed in the coming days.”

Mayoral Relief Funds provide an additional way to help communities bounce back after an emergency. Local communities and councils are well-placed to know where the immediate needs are, for example, to meet the needs of affected families and individuals, community organisations or marae.

The funds are in addition to other support that people may be eligible for through the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry for Primary Industries.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved - from the residents to the community leaders, the numerous agencies and those on the ground - for their ongoing mahi in response to this emergency. This has been a very challenging event, but I’m proud of how well they have responded and supported each other during this tough time. I know many have had to sacrifice precious holiday time with whānau to support their community, and that is massively appreciated” Kiri Allan said.

Note to editors:

Contact Far North Mayor John Carter John.Carter@fndc.govt.nz for information about the Mayoral Relief Fund, or to make an application.

Donations to the Mayoral Relief Fund can be made online or at any branch of the ASB Bank account number 12 3244 0022509 04.