The people of Hastings are to make a $50,000 contribution towards relief efforts following the Kaikoura earthquake last week.

At a Hastings District Council meeting yesterday, councillors agreed to extend support to the Kaikoura and Hurunui districts, with the money to be initially taken from unbudgeted expenditure.

In September 2010, the council made a donation of $100,000 to the Canterbury Earthquake Fund, part of a $275,000 donation from Hawke's Bay to support the relocation and stress respite travel to Hawke's Bay for Christchurch residents.

In this case, councillors noted that the area affected was home to a small ratepayer base, and agreed to investigate where the money would be of most use.


Options put forward included the Takahanga Marae Civil Defence Welfare Centre, the Red Cross, and the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Mayoral fund.

The only councillor who objected was Adrienne Pierce who said that as taxpayers and ratepayers people were already doing their bit for Kaikoura.

"We have got things in our own region we could be spending money on.

"There's stories in the chlorine petition presented today about people with sick kids, and not being able to afford to buy water filters.

"In Kaikoura they are getting the full support of the Government - is there anything else we can do besides giving cash?"

From the other point of view councillor Kevin Watkins said none of the people in the room were there when the 1931 Napier earthquake occurred.

"Cities from around New Zealand provided financial help with that."

Councillor Geraldine Travers said that when she was at Hastings Girls' High School a large amount of fundraising was done at the time of the Christchurch earthquake.

"When human beings respond by helping people, it transforms them - it's very unifying."