Staff at Waikato District Council are collecting money for two rural groups that are still supporting some of our rural community after storms and floods devastated parts of the district in March and April.
Every Friday is Casual Friday at Council. In exchange for the opportunity to “dress down” for the day, staff are encouraged to donate a gold coin to a nominated local cause – and this month it’s the Rural Support Trust and Rural Women New Zealand.
Waikato District Council Chief Executive, Gavin Ion said many Council staff were involved in the immediate civil defence response to the floods earlier this year and so they were keen to contribute to the recovery support work that is still going on.
“It’s easy to forget that some farms were hit hard, crops damaged and families are still trying to recover,” he said. “We hope our initiative goes some way to help the rural support network that we partner with to provide support after these sorts of events.”
Wanda Leadbeater of the Rural Support Trust said, “We’re grateful for the support of the Waikato District Council staff. The extreme weather has had a huge and ongoing detrimental effect on farmers, individuals and communities. Recovery will take some time and we’ll continue to work with people as long as we’re needed. Our service is free and confidential.”
If members of the public want to join Waikato District Council staff in donating to support the work of these two groups they can go to the Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel page on the Rural Support Trust website (see the reference below), or they can buy a pair of ‘Aftersocks™’ from the Rural Women New Zealand website.
Rural Women New Zealand National President, Fiona Gower said, “Rural Women New Zealand is very appreciative for this opportunity to promote the Adverse Events Relief Fund. The funds raised supports rural communities affected by natural disasters, in this case the damage caused by the extreme weather in the Waikato. Buy, wear and share Aftersocks™ by tagging @aftersocksnz on Facebook to show your support.”
Waikato District Council staff lead all Civil Defence efforts for the Waikato district and partner with emergency services, support agencies and other local Councils to answer immediate needs and undertake recovery work afterwards.
There were three storm events in March and April this year. During the worst of them the Council answered 80 urgent requests in 24 hours to deal with slips and flooding and 56 roads in the district were affected. About 60 urban properties suffered from flooding or slips, and 22 North Waikato farmers requested additional assistance for recovery. Wairamarama was one of the worst-hit areas after being deluged with 110mm of rain in a 12-hour period. Twenty claims were subsequently lodged with the Earthquake Commission (EQC).
With 50 per cent funding support from the NZ Transport Agency, our Waikato District Alliance roading team undertook a $1 million programme of short term road repairs in Mercer, Pokeno and Pukekawa. A longer term road restoration programme is expected to cost $2.4 million.
Other emergency efforts in the past year included trucking more than 3 million litres of drinking water to the Raglan community for several days after tremors from November’s Kaikoura earthquake disturbed the clarity of the spring water feeding the town’s water reservoirs.
Ongoing Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) training through the year means there is always a large number of Council staff on hand who are capable of forming teams to operate and support the district’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) when needed.
Rural Support Trust: Details on how to make a donation to the Rural Support Trust can be found at the bottom of the page: www.rural-support.org.nz/Regions/North-Island/Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel
Rural Women New Zealand: Buy a pair of Aftersocks™ from www.ruralwomen.org.nz
For more information please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633