Joining Forces for Cyclone Relief

3 March 2023 | Articles

It is heartening how much can be achieved by us all working together within such a short time frame.

When the Kāpiti community learnt about the devastating effects of Cyclone Gabrielle, they wanted to help in anyway possible. The difficulty was finding ways to help that met targeted needs rather than putting more pressure on the affected region by sending unwanted items (there were reports of ball dresses and high heels being received!)

Volunteer Kāpiti joined forces with Sophie Handford (and her many hats through Kāpiti Student Volunteer Army, Council and Self Isolation Support Kāpiti) to organise a coordinated collection.

Before any goods were received, an amazing network of community groups was formed all working together for another community. Volunteer Kāpiti coordinated the needs list and contacts in Hawkes Bay, Sophie got the word out in Kāpiti about the collection and the Kāpiti Impact Hub provided an area to store goods. Before an ask was even put out in the community, the Kāpiti Coast Gorillas Rugby team offered to provide the transport (with Paekakariki Volunteer Fire Brigade on standby if more transport was needed).

Volunteer Kāpiti had to close their request for volunteers for the collection day as it filled up within 48 hours. How awesome are volunteers! A big thank you to volunteers from Volunteer Kāpiti, Kāpiti Student Volunteer Army and Self Isolation Support Kāpiti.

Volunteer Kāpiti got in touch with the Environment Centre Hawkes Bay that were doing extensive work coordinating food and essential items across community hubs and rural communities in the area. The centre provided a list of essential needs, often this was difficult to keep up with as the list changed daily.

On the collection days, there was a massive response from our community. From individuals, families, local schools, businesses and community groups all providing generous donations. Some to note include New World Kāpiti delivering a van load of hand sanitisers, TechMan provided a much-needed laptop for the Enviroment Centre Hawkes Bay to coordinate volunteers and group collections were received from Waikanae Girl Guides, Paraparaumu College, Kāpiti College and Waikanae School.

Here are a few examples of what was collected:
• 35 Banana Boxes of Non-perishable Food, plus 8 big bags of rice (approx. 10kg each)
• 3 Banana Boxes of Baby Formula
• 171 Litres of Water
• 429 Toilet Rolls
• 7 boxes of cleaning products
• 6 Banana boxes of sanitary items
• 2,850 nappies and 42 packets of wipes
• 200 litres of hand sanitiser

Thank you to EVERYONE that contributed to this collection and to WREMO for encouraging us to coordinate a response. It also shows the strong community resilience of Kāpiti and how if something were to happen here – we know our community is strong enough to get through together.