Esk Valley silt. Photo: Florence Charvin

The HB Emergency Relief Fund was designed to help Hawke’s Bay communities, individuals, families, community organisations and marae get immediate access to funds to assist with recovery.

Its one-off payments were to help alleviate hardship experienced due to the flooding, prolonged power outages and landslips. And for the rural community, applications could be extended to provide some assistance for emergency fencing requirements for livestock and disposal of dead stock.

BayBuzz asked for a breakdown of the funds administered through the Emergency Relief Fund in an Official Information Act request to the Regional Council.

As of August 16, 2023, the Trust paid out a total of $8,811,641.64, including payment to territorial authorities for stickered properties. No further payments were made once the Fund was closed for Phase 2. Donations are not being actively solicited at this point, but if additional donations accumulate, further grants will be made.

Overall, 4610 applications were approved for Phases 1 and 2. All applications were considered on merit and fact-checked.

Phase 1 provided immediate access to up to $1,000, and Phase 2 up to $10,000.

For Phase 1, a total of 3,867 applications were approved, of which 906 were for food/water. Of the 906 applications, three applications were for $1,000+, and 597 applications were for $0-$250. A total of 799 applications were for stickered properties with 679 applications for $750-$1,000.

For Phase 2, a total of 743 applications were approved, of which 334 were for silt removal. The highest number of grants given out for silt removal were for $5,000 -$7,500 (120 applications).

The Government seeded an initial donation of $1 million in February 2023 to the Fund. The Fund also received 5,666 donations with the highest number of donations for $0-$200 (4007) and the second highest for $400-$600 (510).

The Fund’s Trustees are the Mayors and Chair from the region’s five councils. The Trust is administered by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


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