Mayoral Relief Fund Grants Increased

Tararua District Councillors have unanimously voted to change the grant criteria around the Mayoral Relief Fund. The revised criteria will now allow individuals to claim up to $10,000, with community groups, farmers, businesses (including sole entrepreneurs), and Marae now able to apply for an increased grant of up to $30,000.

The fund, which to date has received over $300,000 in donations, was originally established in February 2023 in response to the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle on the Tararua District. It was supported by local and nationwide generosity, including significant contributions from neighbouring Councils, acting on behalf of their residents. To date 93 applications have been successful, with over $140,000 being distributed.

One year on, there are still many continuing to face considerable financial hardship, and others who are yet to submit an application to the fund. The $1 million Tararua on Track fund highlighted significant need amongst local farmers and growers, who requested approximately $5.3 million in financial assistance for uninsured critical works alone. It is hoped many will take up this opportunity for additional assistance.

Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis is pleased with the decision to increase grants, but also emphasised the importance of the fund’s deliberate and measured approach to date. “I’m really pleased that we took a slow and steady approach with the fund initially. It would have been easy to want to rush out and give assistance, the journey ahead was a long one, and we knew we were doing the right thing, helping as many people, groups, businesses and organisations as we could.”

Mayor Collis also made special mention of the people involved in making decisions around grants awarded, “I want to thank our Mayoral Relief Fund Panel, who have given many hours assessing applications and making it easy for people to apply, while honouring the generosity of those who made sacrifices to donate to the fund, and help our district.”

Mayor Tracey is encouraging Tararua residents still facing hardship to get applications in over the next six – seven weeks. At the end of March, the Panel will review all applications, and decisions on funding will be made at that point.

Those who have previously submitted to the fund and have been successful, are able to submit another application for the increased grant amounts.

For more information and to apply to the Tararua Mayoral Relief Fund, head to www.tararuadc.govt.nz/support.