Govt aid after Northland storm

The Government has announced it will provide at least $100,000 towards a mayoral relief fund assisting storm-affected Northland families.

Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye and Northland MP Mike Sabin are today visiting affected areas in the Far North, while Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is travelling to the Hikurangi area, where farms and orchards have been severely hit by flooding.

Ms Kaye confirmed yesterday that the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM) has liaised with the Far North District Council, Kaipara District Council, Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council to establish a mayoral relief fund.

The Government will be contributing $100,000 in the short term, with further assistance considered if needed, she said.

"There is currently welfare provision available for families that have been affected, however, the mayoral relief fund will enable other assistance for families who may need support at this time." MCDEM will continue working with representatives from the councils to ensure that assistance is available for those who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the storm.

An example of Government combining forces with local council was the recovery centre opened at the Kawakawa Community Link centre in Gillies St yesterday for people displaced from their homes or seeking emergency assistance.

The agencies involved -- the Ministry for Social Development (MSD), Work and Income and the Far North District Council -- were to decide late yesterday whether to operate the centre for the rest of this week.

Council staff have also been working with MSD staff to access about 120 flood damaged homes in the Moerewa area to determine whether the homes are safe to reoccupy.

- By Christine Allen of the Northern Advocate

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