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01/02/2018 10:00am

Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi announced today that the Government will contribute $15,000 to the Hauraki District Council Kaiaua Coast Disaster Relief Fund.

The Hauraki District Council will also add $10,000 to the Fund in addition to the $2,000 kick-start previously pledged by Mayor John Tregidga.

The money will be used to provide one-off hardship grants to Kaiaua Coast residents affected by the January storm event covering such things as essentials for daily life, extra financial costs due to flooding, and costs not covered by insurance or other funds. The Council has also agreed to support in principle, funding the building consent costs for raising of houses inundated over their floor level during this event.

From 4-6 January 2018, a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds to most of the North Island. The combination of strong winds, low atmospheric pressure and king tides resulted in flooding of several low lying coastal communities to the east and west of the Firth of Thames. Kaiaua Coast communities were particularly badly affected. Storm surges left many dwellings flood damaged and coastal roading was severely impacted.

Mr Faafoi visited the area on 9 January and was impressed with the way the community had pulled together.

The Kaiaua Coast communities did a great job of rallying to support each other through the storm, not just council and other agencies, but also local support systems – friends and neighbours looking out for one another.

Everyone has been working hard to help residents return to their homes.

But for some who are still coping with the effects of the storm we hope that providing financial assistance will help just a little bit in getting things back on track. I know families will be getting ready for their children to return to school, while others may need a hand in covering clean-up costs,” he said.

Mayor Tregidga said the Minister’s visit was very well-received and the Government contribution is greatly appreciated.

The one positive thing among all the stress and trauma of a devastating event like this is the community spirit that often emerges. People have opened up their homes and businesses, raised funds, and generally just rolled up their sleeves and chipped in where they can to help others. It’s fantastic to see the Government is chipping in as well; that small communities like ours have not been forgotten, and that this wider support is available at a time when it’s so needed.

The Relief Fund will be administered by Hauraki District Council. More information and application forms are available on the Council website. Anyone needing further assistance or information about the Fund should contact the Council.

People affected by the storm event can also seek assistance from the Ministry of Social Development or the Rural Support Trust, as applicable.

The public can donate to the Kaiaua Coast Disaster Relief Fund: