The criteria and application process for the Mayoral Relief Fund has been finalised by mayors Richard Kempthorne and Rachel Reese of Tasman District and Nelson City respectively.
From Monday (25 February), applications will accepted and considered to support individuals and families with essential costs of daily life not covered by insurance or other funds.
The fund will help where an immediate need exists. The outpouring of support from communities all over the country in the wake of the Pigeon Valley fire has been incredible and the relief fund provides a further avenue of support for those in need, said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne. “The eligibility to apply is reasonably wide in the hope those in real need are not in any way inhibited from gaining the support they need.”
Application forms will be available online from the Councils’ websites on Monday where applicants will also find the criteria under which the funds will be distributed.
“Since the fund opened for donations the Government has committed $170,000 and there’s been generous support from the community through private and commercial donations. And that’s not counting the contributions from the various ‘Give a Little’ pages set up around the country to support those affected by the fires.
The fund will be available to support local businesses whose activities have been restricted by the fires, for example contractors not able to work due to the ban on outdoor machinery.
It will also be available to help meet extraordinary costs of not-for-profit organisations providing care for animals.
Regarding the private land damaged in the efforts to contain and manage the fire the Government said last week it will provide financial support to landowners whose land was damaged because of the essential fire-breaks.
Some of the fire-breaks are likely to be in place for some time yet and the full cost of remediation won’t be known for some time but work is already underway to identify the likely scale of the impacts, costs and work needed.
“In the meantime, if there is an immediate financial need not covered by insurance or other forms of assistance, people are advised to apply as soon as possible.”
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says "There has been a region wide rush to help those affected by this devastating fire. We were so fortunate that the quick response to the recent fire on the Sir Stanley Whitehead Reserve contained the damage but it certainly gave all Nelson people some insight to the awesome power of fire and the challenges our Tasman neighbours are facing. I thank all those who have donated, and continue to donate, and I’m sure this support will be appreciated by those most in need."