Earthquake recovery briefing 2Economic Development Earthquake Recovery
Community group support
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett will shortly be providing details of a special $7.5 million Community Response Fund for social service providers in Canterbury. The region's community organisations are doing a great job but we've determined they can only do so much with the resources they have. Special payments will be provided to service providers providing support. MSD is meeting with Canterbury NGOs today and the fund should be available from Monday 13 September. As I say, Paula Bennett will be releasing more detail on this shortly.
A Regional Rural Recovery Group, led by MAF, is now in place and up and running involving Federated Farmers, North Canterbury Rural Support Trust, Fonterra, Dairy NZ, Beef & Lamb, Rural Women NZ, Irrigation NZ, Water Force, Environment Canterbury, Selwyn District Council, the Insurance Council and banks. The group is coordinating the recovery effort in rural Canterbury. The Government is also today appointing a Rural Recovery Coordinator, Allan Baird, to oversee and coordinate the work being done by these various organisations. You might like to ask my colleague David Carter questions about Mr Baird's role at the conclusion of this briefing.
Waiving the waste levy
I'm pleased to announce today that the government has waived the $10-a-tonne waste levy on Canterbury landfills for earthquake waste, as it is inappropriate for the fund to profit due to additional waste from the Canterbury earthquake. The Environment Minister Nick Smith will have more to say on this shortly, but in brief the Waste Minimisation Act provides for a waiver in the levy under exceptional circumstances and the Canterbury earthquake is just that.
A handful of schools have opened today for students, with a few more planning to open tomorrow. The vast majority of the 165 affected schools are planning to be open on Monday. The Ministry of Education is constantly updating its website with confirmed opening dates for schools, at www.minedu.govt.nz
Parents should also contact their school or Board of Trustees.
Confirmed Open today:
- Akaroa area school
- Cust School
- Little River School
- Oxford Area School
- Southbridge school
Planning to open tomorrow:
- Belfast School
- Kaiapoi High school
All Blacks support
Finally, Health Minister Tony Ryall will release details shortly of a Ministry of Health advertising campaign with support and advice on where people should go for help following the earthquake. Four of Canterbury's All Blacks, Richie McCaw, Brad Thorn, Kieran Read and Corey Flynn, will be voicing their support in public health advertisements starting today. Other high profile Cantabrians will appear as the campaign progresses. Many people will need reassurance and practical advice as to what to do and where to go to get help, and I'm sure this campaign will go some way to meeting the immediate needs of those affected.