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Huge Support For Flood Victims

Huge Support For Flood Victims

Hutt City Mayor John Terris said today that he was overwhelmed by the massive level of support shown for the victims of this week's huge floods that hit the city.

"It is nothing short of fantastic how people have got in behind efforts to help ease the devastation that some families have suffered. Some have literally lost everything," said Mayor Terris.

There were 200 offers of accommodation from people willing to temporarily house flood victims. As of 20 February, 50 houses are still unable to be occupied and the EQC has just condemned one house in Naenae.

"The fantastic public response is not limited to Hutt City residents. In following media reports from other regions, it is clear there is still a very strong sense of community in this country, particularly in the face of adversity. It is a New Zealand thing, to just get stuck in and do whatever you can to help."

Initiatives undertaken by Council to date include:

• Establishment of a Mayoral Relief Fund. Those wishing to make a donation can do so at any Westpac Bank (a/c number 05310758099-00)

• Giving staff leave to volunteer for cleanup efforts

• Establishment of a Welfare Centre that is coordinating volunteer efforts, support services and information requests. People can call the Welfare Centre on 569 8325.

• Waiving of landfill charges at Silverstream and Wainuiomata for this weekend (21 & 22 Feb)

"These are small things, but it is often small gestures that add up to making a big difference," said Mayor Terris.

"For example, our staff were very keen to lend support in whatever way they could and so we have given them leave to volunteer their help to residents. They've been doing everything from moving furniture to digging gardens, washing cars to sweeping driveways."

"On Tuesday, I established the Mayoral Flood Relief Fund and I urge businesses and individuals in a position to do so to make a donation to assist those who have suffered losses as a result of the floods," said Mayor Terris.

"On Wednesday we were approached by NZ Cricket who volunteered a number of the NZ Cricket Team to help residents with cleanup activities. They provided 1000 free tickets, which we have distributed through the Welfare Centre and Housing NZ. We also provided a number of tickets to our contractors, who have worked so hard over the past few days."

"There is also still a need for things like beds, mattresses, bedding, furniture and household appliances," said Mayor Terris.

People with items to donate can call the Lower Hutt Salvation Army Family Centre on 04 570 0276. Salvation Army can pick items up, or they can be dropped off at the Family Store on the cnr King & Queen Streets.

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