The New Zealand Red Cross is donating more than $1 million from its Disaster Fund to help people in Wairoa get back into liveable homes, after the destruction caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The $1.1m contribution to the Wairoa District Council-led Liveable Homes Fund will help individuals and whanau living in yellow stickered homes to restore their homes to a safe and liveable standard.
The support is possible because of the generosity of Kiwis who have donated to the Red Cross’ New Zealand Disaster Fund, backed by NZME. To date, $18m has been raised.
The contribution makes up around a quarter of the Liveable Homes Fund and will support needs not met by insurance or other funds. It is dedicated to septic tank cleaning, reticulated plumbing, reinstatement of home heating and essential bathroom and electrical repairs.
Individuals do not have to apply to the Liveable Homes Fund, as money will be allocated through the building inspection process led by the council.
“Across all the areas affected by recent severe weather and the cyclone, our approach is to focus on supporting solutions led by the local community so our help has the most impact,” said Sarah Stuart-Black, secretary general of New Zealand Red Cross. “This devastating weather event will impact the people of Wairoa for years to come, we can help to ease that burden thanks to the generosity of all those who donated to the NZ Disaster Fund.”
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the funds mean that the council will be able to support local families to “bring their homes up to a safe and liveable standard”.
“We are tremendously appreciative that the Red Cross has recognised Wairoa’s needs and assisted us and that so many New Zealanders have contributed to this fund. Thank you everyone,” Little said.
The New Zealand Red Cross has also completed nine psychosocial first aid training courses for people in areas affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
These courses have so far trained 182 health and community champions across Wairoa, Hastings and Napier, and were free thanks to the generous donations from Kiwis who have collectively donated more than $18m since the cyclone hit.
In addition to this, 1000 household clean-up kits are being made available to city and district councils, community groups and Red Cross service centres to be distributed to those who need them. The kits include brooms, dust masks, cleaning products and overalls.
The NZ Red Cross is also providing 100 dehumidifiers to help dry out flood-damaged homes in Wairoa.
Using donations made to the Disaster Fund, 69 first aid kits have been requested and distributed to marae and other community hubs across the affected areas, while 44 Wet and Dry Vacs and 71 water blasters have been requested to help clean up homes affected by flooding. A total of 94 generators, 164 fuel cans and fuel have been sent across the country to help provide power to community hubs and isolated homes.
Wairoa is one of the many affected communities the Red Cross is supporting and working with.
“Around 1800 of our own people live in these communities, so for us, there is a very real personal connection. We know we can help and are committed to doing so. We also know that needs in each community are different. The way we offer support will reflect this, we are taking the time to understand what each community needs and to work with them on tailored support packages. Over coming weeks we will be allocating more funding to support affected communities,” Stuart-Black said.
Donations can be made here: New Zealand Disaster Fund | New Zealand Red Cross