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Donation of $300,000 for flood relief fund

Media Statement: 2 April 2004

Donation of $300,000 for flood relief fund

The Eastern and Central Community Trust has added its pledged $300,000 donation to the Manawatu – Wanganui Disaster Relief Fund Trust to ensure the money attracts the Government’s dollar-for-dollar subsidy.

Along with an additional $10,000 donation from the Community Trust of Otago the total stands to double, to $620,000, with the subsidy.

Eastern and Central Community Trust Chairman, John Culling, said his trust was pleased to support the Disaster Relief Fund and has asked that its donation be earmarked for the restoration of community facilities and activities.

“We intend to ask trustees of the Relief Fund to consider allowing the Community Trust to assist with the allocation of our donation to help organisations that have suffered flood damage,” he said.

The Community Trust is also offering its expertise to assist with funding distribution as it has an extensive database that already covers most community organisations likely to be requiring help to recover.

“Our trustees are representatives of all areas affected and we already have systems in place that would be useful when considering the distribution of money back into the community,” said John Culling.

The Community Trust announced its $300,000 donation within days of the flooding, which had a significant impact on a large area within the trust’s administrative zone.

“We wanted to give some comfort to those affected and show early leadership by pledging a significant amount of money,” said Mr Culling.

“Our intention was to make money available to help restore community facilities in flood stricken areas as quickly as possible. Most of these are run by volunteers who will be coping with their own difficulties.”

Mr Culling has emphasised the $300,000 flood relief donation does not come from the funds set aside for normal, year-round donation allocations and will have no impact on the amount of money available through its regular distribution process.

The Community Trust is an independent, charitable trust, and distributes between $4 million and $5 million annually for the benefit of the communities throughout Manawatu, Horowhenua, Wairarapa, Tararua, Hawke’s Bay and Poverty Bay.

Mr Culling said the Community Trust was already preparing a simplified application system to fast track funding distribution if the Relief Fund trustees take up its offer of assistance.

“Because we have the financial and service history of most of community organisations on our database we are in a position to expedite such processes,” he said.

ENDS

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