Monday, February 27, 2023

Point of Order: Govt gives census officials more time to collect data in cyclone-hit areas...

....and goes global with appeal for recovery funds

The cleanup after Cyclone Gabrielle continues to dominate the outflow of announcements from the Beehive.

Today’s news notably includes something that had been anticipated – the Census collection period will be extended in areas impacted by the Cyclone.

Ministers have announced –

The Minister for Emergency Management, Kieran McAnulty has extended the states of national emergency for a further seven days to 7 March for all but one affected region, in response to the widespread impacts caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has launched an international fundraising appeal and a special Lotto draw to support the recovery efforts in communities across the North Island impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The Government has confirmed the 2023 Census collection period will be extended in areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Christchurch lawyer Lauren Semple and Auckland barrister Sheena Tepania have been appointed as Judges of the Environment Court and District Court, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.

The Government’s Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated to support those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods says.

The Appeal announced by Hipkins is modelled on the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal which raised over $94 million to assist with the rebuild and revitalisation of Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake.

“The regions affected account for around 30 per cent of New Zealand’s land area and are special to so many people, both here and abroad. So I know there will be a real appetite to support them to get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

The special Lotto draw will be held on Saturday 18 March with all proceeds going to communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Internal Affairs Minister Barbara Edmonds said:

“Lotto New Zealand is fundamentally driven to raise funds for our communities. With the help of generous New Zealanders, relief organisations and those affected will be supported to recover and rebuild.”

The Cyclone Gabrielle Appeal will be overseen by a Charitable Trust with Department of Internal Affairs Chief Executive Paul James, former mayor of Napier Barbara Arnott, and Chairman of Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou Selwyn Parata as the Trustees.

Statistics Minister Deborah Russell confirmed the 2023 Census collection period will be extended in areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Census Day will go ahead on Tuesday 7 March but Cabinet has agreed to the recommendation of the Government Statistician to extend field operations by up to eight weeks in areas impacted by the cyclone.

The areas most affected by the cyclone, including Hawke’s Bay, Northland and Tairāwhiti, are among the communities that were underserved by the 2018 Census, Russell said. This makes 2023 Census data even more critical as a source of information to support and guide the recovery in these regions.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

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