Whanganui Mayor Annette Main says her Council reacted quickly by immediately allocating funds to the Trust, and she is pleased to be able to assist those with the most pressing needs.
"Our intention is to make an early compassionate grant to those affected by the floods who are in greatest need," Mayor Main says. "We greatly appreciate the donations everyone has made to the Trust so far. This is a significant number of people coming to terms with what has occurred as a result of this event and being able to make this gesture which acknowledges their loss will be much appreciated."
Both central and local government agencies have contributed to the Trust; the Ministry of Civil Defence has donated $250,000, Wanganui District Council has provided $200,000, Palmerston North District Council $120,000, the Ruapehu District Council has donated $20,000, a further $10,000 has come from the Tararua District Council, $15,000 has been pledged by the Manawatu District Council, and the Horowhenua District Council has donated $15,000.
"We are delighted with the generosity of central and local government," says Chairperson Eric Linklater. "However flood victims still have a long way to go to recover from this event and we would still appreciate donations from the public. This Trust is focused on the well-being of families. Previously donations have been used to provide essentials such as emergency town water, and also to help in the recovery phase."
The Manawatū-Wanganui Regional Disaster Relief Fund Trust was set up 11 years ago. The Trustees are made up of representatives from all local authorities in the region and they distribute donations to local authority and community trusts and organisations.
Donations can be made to the Manawatū-Wanganui Regional Disaster Relief Fund Trust Westpac account, 03 07280411355-00.