‘Re­silience’ fund to be shared out

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - TINA LAW

The Christchurch City Coun­cil has de­cided be­hind closed doors which groups will be the first to re­ceive money from an earth­quake re­silience fund.

Men­tal health ad­vo­cates last month crit­i­cised the coun­cil for not dis­tribut­ing the money sooner.

The $6 mil­lion Com­mu­nity Re­silience Part­ner­ship Fund was launched by Health Min­is­ter Jonathan Cole­man and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel in Fe­bru­ary.

The Gov­ern­ment and the coun­cil de­cided more than a year ago to con­trib­ute $1m each to the fund per fi­nan­cial year over three years. The fund has $4m in the kitty so far.

Coun­cil cit­i­zens and com­mu­nity gen­eral man­ager Mary Richard­son said the coun­cil made de­ci­sions this week on the level of in­vest­ment it wanted to make to projects.

A re­port on the is­sue was dis­cussed in the pub­lic ex­cluded sec­tion of Tues­day’s coun­cil meet­ing.

Richard­son said it was ex­pected a list of the re­cip­i­ents would be re­leased once the de­ci­sions were made and the or­gan­i­sa­tions had been no­ti­fied.

Last month, Richard­son said the rea­son for the de­lay in dis­tribut­ing the money was be­cause it took longer than ex­pected to ne­go­ti­ate a con- tract with the Min­istry of Health.

The coun­cil did not re­ceive a signed copy of the con­tract un­til April this year.

‘‘Both the coun­cil and the Gov­ern­ment re­alise this is re­ally im­por­tant and we’re work­ing with some ur­gency to get the money out.’’

Men­tal health ad­vo­cates and those work­ing in the field were upset by the de­lay and crit­i­cised the ‘‘lack of trans­parency’’ about how the money was be­ing dis­trib­uted.

No-one could apply for the money. Projects would in­stead be iden­ti­fied by coun­cil staff in con­junc­tion with the Psy­choso­cial Gov­er­nance Group, which was set up after the Septem­ber 2010 and Fe­bru­ary 2011 earth­quakes. The group over­sees var­i­ous pro­grammes in­clud­ing the All Right? cam­paign.

Group mem­bers in­clude the Can­ter­bury Dis­trict Health Board, Ngai Tahu, po­lice, the Depart­ment of Prime Min­is­ter and Cab­i­net Greater Christchurch Group, the Min­istry of Health, the Min­istry of So­cial Devel­op­ment and the Sel­wyn and Waimakariri dis­trict coun­cils.

Richard­son said in Septem­ber the fund would sup­port projects that strength­ened com­mu­ni­ties by in­creas­ing com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion, con­nect­ed­ness and re­silience.

The in­ten­tion was the fund would fo­cus on projects that would make a mea­sur­able dif­fer­ence within com­mu­ni­ties.

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