Hub funding to build resilience in rural communities

The Tararua District has secured $250,000 through the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to increase support for communities likely to be cut-off during extreme weather events.

The funding is part of a $35.4 million package announced in Budget 2023 to support the recovery of rural communities affected by the North Island weather events, including Cyclone Gabrielle. The Tararua District has already secured $1 million from the fund for urgent maintenance and resilience works on affected farms.

The aim of the latest funding is to ensure rural community hubs are well resourced with emergency equipment like generators, communication tools and first aid supplies, to support communities if they become isolated again.

Deputy Tararua Erana Peeti-Webber believes the funding will help to build critical resilience in our rural communities. “This funding alongside our experiences from the cyclone, has given us scope to work alongside our communities and really assess their needs. It’s an opportunity to ensure our rural communities have vital resources, and support at hand, when it is needed.”

Recovery Manager Don Cameron says, “Cyclone Gabrielle highlighted the challenges these communities face when services are interrupted.  A number of communities in Tararua faced long periods of isolation as a result of impassable roads. This fund will support establishing community response groups, assessing their needs, and ensuring they are well equipped for any future events.”

Sarah Fountaine has been employed in the role of Community Hub Coordinator. Alongside Tararua District Council Emergency Management Officer Peter Sinclair, she will engage with the eight identified communities and make initial assessments to develop a plan for each.