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More money for flood victims

3 March 2004 Media Statement

More money for flood victims

The government will match dollar for dollar all funds raised by nationwide flood relief appeals by the end of this month.

Announcing the decision, Acting Prime Minister Michael Cullen said it would commit the government to funding at least $3.2 million on latest estimates.

“This recognises both the considerable individual needs which the recent floods have caused and the generosity of the response of many ordinary New Zealanders to those needs,” he said.

“Where possible, local delivery mechanisms will be used to allocate the money.

“Officials will be reporting further on two possible models for allocating the government contribution: either through mayoral relief funds only but requiring consultation with rural community groups to ensure the most effective recognition of the needs of those communities or also allowing distribution through some form of specific rural based organisation or organisations.

“These matters will be considered further in a fortnight’s time by which stage we should also have a clearer picture of the full cost of the damage although it may not be until later that the likely overall costs to the government can be calculated.

“That is likely to run into many tens of millions of dollars because of the severe damage to the infrastructure,” Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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