National | Cyclone Gabrielle

The financial impact of Cyclone Gabrielle - where to get help

Compounding the tragedy of the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle is the knowledge that for many families who have lost everything, there is no insurance to help them bounce back.

So what does the future hold for them?

Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission financial capability team member Donna Robinson (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Raukawa) doesn’t want affected whānau to be whakamā when asking for help.

Apart from centres giving out support packages, banks now have, under emergency situations, made lending easier for anyone affected, she says.

Robinson is also encouraging whānau to go to Money Talks if they are still unsure of how and where to access financial aid.

“We also know that there’s a lot of wonderful community support out there, some major platforms that are doing fundraising events – reach out, find out who they are,” she says.

“People like myself, we’re ready and willing to support.”

'Don't be whakamā' - financial advisor urges whānau to reach out for help.

Insurance or kai?

Robinson says the cost of insurance and awareness are factors in why Māori have the lowest rates of insurance of all ethnic groups in the country.

“When you weigh [kai, cost of living] against the cost of premiums and insurance, sometimes that’s a hard decision to make… [also] understanding the different types of insurance assistance and how to access them when you need to.

“It’s important that Māori understand why insurance exists and how to use it. We want them to understand to let the insurance company carry the risk rather than them or the community.”

Though there is speculation that the damage brought on by Cyclone Gabrielle is well into the millions, perhaps tens of millions of dollars, Robinson says it’s too early to tell.

“But we can take this time to reflect on if this will be the last event, would it be time to take stock of our financial situation, and be prepared for the next one?”

Civil Defence payments through Work And Income are available here for anyone affected by the cyclone living in the following regions and council areas:

  • Te Tai Rāwhiti
  • Hawke's Bay
  • Manawatū
  • Wairarapa
  • Horowhenua
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato District Council
  • Hauraki District Council
  • Matamata/Pikiao District Council
  • Thames/Coromandel District Council

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