By ROBYN BRISTOW
The morale of Hurunui residents is beginning to wane as they cope with extended recovery from compounding events, says Hurunui Mayor Winton Dalley.
“Drought with its soul destroying daily supplementary feeding, earthquake damage, unsettling aftershocks, lost business and fires, are beginning to take their toll,” he says.
His comments come as the Earthquake Recovery team ramps up its support for residents to help them through the emotional and financial turmoil, wrecked by the 7.8 magnitude quake on November 14, last year.
The team is reaching out to residents coping with frightened children, broken and bent homes, farmland that is cracked and covered in slips, fencing and other infrastructure lying in tatters and community facilities that have shut up shop due to damage, limiting social meeting places.
“We are in the inevitable space where frustration starts building while waiting for insurance settlement, experiencing disruptive road and infrastructure repairs, temporary accommodation and interrupted sleep.
“We cannot underestimate the time recovery takes and we need to be realistic about this.
“I often hear the word resilience used in recovery,” says Mr Dalley.
“I believe we have seen an amazing living example of this in Hurunui for some time, a community which is strong and able to withstand unexpected events.”
But while resilience is “our strength”, residents needed to be OK with getting a hand up when required, as individuals and as a community.
“We need to support each other and make sure we are linking into services and funding available to the district, our residents and businesses.
“We need to openly acknowledge the multiple layers of stress in large sections of our community and the need to stay strong to support them,” Mr Dalley says.
Behind the scenes a lot was happening to co-ordinate services and funding.
Mr Dalley urges people who are eligible for funding either through the Mayoral Fund, Red Cross Damaged Home Grant, Business Wage Support, or Primary Industries Earthquake Relief Funds, to make an application.
“This funding is to support the district recovery; by not accessing these funds we’re impeding our collective recovery,” he says.
“We’re keen to know if you need temporary accommodation now or while you repair or rebuild, or if you are concerned about staying warm in your home as winter approaches,” says Mr Dalley.
Along with the EQ Recovery Team, the Drought Committee, Rural Support Trust and Community Connectors were very active and want to assist.
Mr Dalley says fortnightly recovery updates are published in local newspapers and newsletters telling people where to find advice, helpful information and upcoming events and meetings.
“Keep an eye out for them and stay informed.”