In a bid to assist communities in the recovery process following Cyclone Gabrielle, the government has unveiled additional support to help remove sediment and debris from whenua Māori in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay.
The newly allocated funding, totaling $30 million, aims to provide assistance to whenua Māori owners for the clean-up of their lands, reducing the financial burden associated with the removal of sediment and debris.
Grants to Aid Clean-up Activities
Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson stated that the funding would be made available through grants, specifically designed to cover the costs related to the clean-up of sediment and debris.
Eligibility for the grants extends to Māori landowners who have either completed their clean-up efforts or are still in the process of doing so.
Additionally, those who are seeking support to initiate clean-up activities on whenua Māori are also eligible to apply.
Commitment to Post-Cyclone Recovery
Months after the cyclone struck, communities in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay continue to grapple with its aftermath. Minister Jackson emphasized the government’s dedication to supporting these regions in their post-cyclone recovery endeavors.
This funding initiative represents yet another step in a series of ongoing efforts to aid the recovery process. It complements the $172 million announced last month, which aimed to assist local authorities and commercial property owners in managing sediment and debris.
Support and Application Process
To ensure that the needs and aspirations of whenua Māori owners are effectively addressed, the Whenua Māori Service within Te Puni Kōkiri will collaborate with them. This partnership will help gain a deeper understanding of the requirements specific to each owner and provide support throughout the application process.
Minister Jackson expressed the government’s commitment to providing the necessary assistance to facilitate smooth and efficient applications for the grants.
$2 Million Allocated for Woody Debris Management on Māori Land
In addition to the $30 million funding package, Te Puni Kōkiri will administer $2 million from the $10.15 million woody debris fund, which was announced as part of Budget 2023. This allocation is specifically intended to address the management of woody debris within catchments on whenua Māori.
Urgent Action Required
Acknowledging the community’s calls for immediate action regarding the removal of woody debris, Peeni Henare, a representative of Te Puni Kōkiri, emphasized the necessity of a comprehensive approach. The allocated funds will contribute to addressing this pressing issue and support the implementation of necessary actions.
Given the expectation of further rainfall in the affected regions, prompt removal of woody debris becomes imperative to prevent any further damage.
Supporting Recovery Efforts
The government’s latest funding announcement of $30 million seeks to alleviate the burden on whenua Māori owners in Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay, who are grappling with the consequences of Cyclone Gabrielle. This initiative adds to the comprehensive range of measures aimed at supporting the recovery process.
With a commitment to understanding the needs of whenua Māori owners and facilitating their applications, the government aims to ensure a smoother and more effective clean-up operation.
Furthermore, the allocation of $2 million from the woody debris fund highlights the government’s acknowledgment of urgent action required to manage this specific issue.
The combined efforts will aid in restoring the affected regions and mitigating the risks associated with future rainfall.