Cyclone Gabrielle Māori Communities Response Fund near capacity

Cyclone Gabrielle exposed disproportionate risks to Māori, and severely damaged cultural infrastructures and taonga such as marae and urupā. This in turn challenged the holistic resilience of many Māori communities.

Published: Tuesday, 2 May 2023 | Rātū, 02 Haratua, 2023

Te Puni Kōkiri is distributing $9m of the $15m allocated to support Māori recover from Cyclone Gabrielle through the Cyclone Gabrielle Māori Communities Response Fund providing:

  • Capacity support such as relief staffing, clean-up expenses, generators and communication equipment
  • Recovery planning and co-ordination funds
  • Marae infrastructure and support funds such as securing temporary storage for taonga and food.

At the end of April 2023, $7.84m has been committed, is being processed or is under discussion across affected regions of Ikaroā-Rāwhiti – Takitimu, Ikaroā-Rāwhiti – Tairāwhiti, Te Tai Tokerau, Tāmaki-Makarau and Waikato-Waiariki.

Karen McGuinness, Director Investments at Te Puni Kōkiri, said “Our investment kaimahi have been working closely with whānau in impacted communities to help them access the Te Puni Kōkiri Cyclone Gabrielle Māori Communities Response funding. They have been very focused on supporting future preparedness”.

“This funding has helped whānau respond to immediate clean up needs, but importantly, it is helping support them to increase their capability and enhance their resilience to withstand future extreme weather events.

“Te Puni Kōkiri kaimahi have also been helping whānau identify and connect into other recovery focused government funds. We play an important role in times like these, to ensure that other agencies hear and understand the needs of whānau and include this in their investment and responses,” said Karen.

Investments made through Te Puni Kōkiri Cyclone Gabrielle Māori Communities Response Fund, along with other agencies’ funding and partner support, provides vital assistance into communities deeply impacted by the extreme weather events. The funding is helping affected marae and whānau to not only respond to the destruction of the cyclone but to help them assess, plan and prepare for recovery, and any future adverse weather events.