Horowhenua District Council has extended the deadline for Mayoral Relief Fund applications until 5pm on June 30.
The original cut-off for applications for the fund, which can help with remedying property damage, or covering costs incurred following the May 20 tornado, was previously scheduled for 5pm on June 13.
Weeks on from the weather event, affected residents are still realising the full emotional, physical and financial toll of the tornado and hail storm. The Mayoral Relief Fund was established to provide short-term financial assistance to alleviate some of these stressors.
Mayor Bernie Wanden said: "The reality of the situation is still hitting home for some, and we want to help people get back on their feet. People are still gathering information and getting costs for repairs. We want to prevent further suffering as a result of this event and have extended the deadline for the Mayoral Relief Fund by 20 days."
The fund was established the day of the tornado and hail event with the council contributing $100,000. Central government matched that contribution and Horowhenua New Zealand Trust added $50,000 to the fund.
Many local businesses and individuals also gave generously, and the total amount of the fund reached $265,211.00.
All Black Codie Taylor, whose roots are in Horowhenua, has an active TradeMe auction for a signed All Blacks jersey with all proceeds to be added to the fund, with bids exceeding $4000.
"We've had generous donations from individuals, businesses and agencies wanting to help. The fund can be used for various reasons - pulling out tree roots, restoring fences, or paying for your insurance excess," Mayor Wanden said.
"We encourage anyone affected by the tornado to apply. You don't have to have suffered the worst extent of the damage to be eligible."
The Mayoral Relief Fund can be used to assist with: damaged property, essentials for daily life, costs not covered by insurance, where there is financial burden due to the tornado event, counselling.
HDC's chief executive Monique Davidson said: "We've received many requests for help ranging from welfare support to tree felling, debris clean up and building assessments.
"We acknowledge that for some the journey to recovering from this traumatic event may be long. Please know that support is there in many ways from a range of organisations, including council."
Online application forms and full criteria are available online at horowhenua.govt.nz/MayoralReliefFund. Our Welfare Team is on hand to help with applications, along with our Customer Services Team at Council's Civic Building, or over the phone on 06 366 0999.
A special committee along with the mayor will consider, and make final decisions on all Mayoral Fund Applications.