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Levin Tornado Event 20 May – Update Tuesday 24 May 2022

Horowhenua New Zealand Trust today confirmed they would contribute $50,000 to Horowhenua’s Mayoral Relief Fund, bringing the total up to $252,571 just five days after the fund was established. RJ’s Licorice and All Black Codie Taylor are among the other businesses and individuals that are stepping up to support the people of Horowhenua impacted by Friday’s severe weather event.

Mayor Bernie Wanden says, “There has been an outpouring of generosity from our community. Businesses and individuals have shown that in people’s time of need, they are there to help. Saturday’s Clean-Up was testament to this, with iwi partners, builders, contractors, arborists, landscapers, food businesses and home maintenance businesses and community members all contributing their time and resources to the greater good.”

“I’m conscious though that for many the real toll of Friday’s event is only just becoming evident. It’s looking like some of those impacted do not have insurance, so the stress and reality of their situations is very raw. The team have worked at pace to stand-up the Mayoral Relief Fund application form and process, so that those impacted can apply for help now. It is our hope that this funding can help if only in a small way, to get people back on their feet,” continued Mayor Bernie.

If businesses or individuals would like to contribute to the Mayoral Relief Fund, they can donate using the following bank account – 02-0668-0070607-002 (Account name: Horowhenua District Council, ref “Relief fund”).

Mayoral Relief Fund - Financial Assistance

If you we’re impacted by Friday’s severe weather event, you may qualify for financial assistance from the Mayoral Relief Fund. The application form is now available online or in person at Council’s Civic Building to complete and our welfare response team are on hand to help. Visit www.horowhenua.govt.nz/MayoralReliefFund, call us on 06 366 0999 or come in to see one of the team.

The Mayoral Relief Fund is intended to provide short-term financial assistance to individuals, families, groups and organisations impacted by the severe weather event on 20 May. It is hoped that the grant will go some way towards helping alleviate the emotional and financial stress experienced by some individuals and whānau due to the tornado event.

Assistance may be given to fund:

· Damaged property

· Essentials for daily life

· Costs not covered by insurance

· Where there is financial burden due to the tornado event

· Counselling

Criteria and relevant information:

· Applications must be connected with the 20 May 2022 tornado and within the Horowhenua District

· Each application will be dealt with on its own merits

· Only one application per household or organisation

· Grants will be one-off only

· When funds are granted, they must be used for the purpose outlined in the application submitted

o Applicants will need to declare if they have received financial or other assistance i.e. from Work and Income – financial assistance, food parcels, or funding from any other organisation in relation to this tornado event (funding source to be specified.)

· Council will meet its legislative obligations under the Privacy Act 2020 with regard to protecting the personal information provided in the application.

· Applications close on Monday 13 June at 5pm.

· As people apply, we may grant them up to $1,000 up front. Once we get to 13 June, we will assess how much funding we have remaining and make a decision on how to allocate the remaining amount to the applicants. We are aware that some families have been impacted severely.

Application process:

· Apply online or email your completed application form to Jacinta Straker, Group Manager Business, Horowhenua District Council at jacintas@horowhenua.govt.nz or drop it off to 126 Oxford Street, Levin or post it to us at Private Bag 4002, Levin 5540.

· Applicants will receive an acknowledgement email or phone call with a timeframe for the decision.

· The Mayor, along with a special committee, will consider all applications and make the final decisions.

· Applicants will be advised of the outcome through email or phone, and if successful payment will be made into the bank account the following week.

For more information please contact Council on 06 366 0999, we can help you with any questions you may have.

Where to get help and support

If you have been impacted by Friday’s severe weather event and have immediate welfare needs, please call Council on 06 366 0999.

If you need support or advice, or have feelings of anxiety, stress, prolonged fear, hopelessness or anger, or you just need to talk with someone, you can text or phone 1737 for free to speak to a trained counsellor.

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) support

MSD is available to assist those in the community that have been directly affected by yesterday’s event. Contact MSD on 0800 559 009 and let them know you have been impacted by the tornado.

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