National | Aid

Post-Gabrielle marae aid and clean-up support handed $15m in state grant

Ministers Willie Jackson and Peeni Henare meet whānau at Waipatu Marae on 28 February, 2023. Photo / RNZ / Lauren Crimp

The government says a $15 million support package will help Māori communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle get back on their feet.

Ministers Willie Jackson and Peeni Henare made the announcement on Tuesday while meeting with whānau at Waipatu Marae in Hastings.

"The regions hit by Cyclone Gabrielle have high Māori population and we know many communities have been hugely impacted," Jackson said.

The funding package will help pay for clean-up equipment, generators, communication equipment, solar power, and food storage at marae.

"Marae have been a central hub for our affected communities, especially many isolated ones," Henare said.

"This package is about the immediate response, but it is also about building back better and ensuring our marae and other support organisations have the resources and kit needed to support whānau in a time of crisis."

Minister for Māori-Crown Relations Kelvin Davis said the funding would help iwi build resilience across existing networks which was crucial for the current crisis and future natural disasters.

"Māori communities know how to respond in times like these, it is our job to make sure they are well-equipped to do so," he said.

The money will be distributed through Te Puni Kōkiri ($9 million), Whānau Ora ($3 million) and the office for Māori-Crown relations, Te Arawhiti ($3 million).