Get­ting out of the bub­ble to help out

Who to con­tact

The Leader (Tasman) - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Inside the bub­ble of cen­tral Motueka, you wouldn’t even know that there’d been a storm. For our Fry Street prop­erty, Cy­clone Gita meant lit­tle more than bat­tered flower heads and a ripped tram­po­line pad.

It’s sur­real to think that just a few kilo­me­tres away, in


Ri­waka and

Mara­hau, and up hills and val­leys to the west and north, peo­ple are des­per­ately strug­gling with the re­al­i­ties of mon­u­men­tal clean-ups; of re­build­ing their liveli­hoods; of find­ing new homes.

My son’s kindy teacher is im­mensely ca­pa­ble and vir­tu­ally un­flap­pable, but when I queried how her Mara­hau prop­erty had fared in the storm, her re­ac­tion chilled me.

‘‘It’s just dev­as­ta­tion,’’ she replied sim­ply, which ba­si­cally says it all.

The vol­un­teer ef­fort fol­low­ing Gita was im­me­di­ate and enor­mous. Peo­ple have of­fered food, equip­ment, hours and hours of their time. I was feel­ing des­per­ate to do some­thing too. I hoped to find my way to a shovel, and that the more I shov­elled, the less help­less I would feel. I was stymied by my preschool­ers, who would hugely en­joy play­ing in the mud and do noth­ing to de­tract from any­one’s stress lev­els.

I lamented to friends, who recog­nised my feel­ings and added some of their own. Guilty. Pow­er­less. Over­whelmed.

My prag­matic mother-in-law got straight to the point.

‘‘What do you do well?’’ she asked. ‘‘You bake and you write. So do that.’’

The re­sult­ing bis­cuits aren’t mag­i­cal. They can’t undo the tidal waves of de­bris that smashed through your prop­er­ties, or clean the silt from your car­pets. But they’re some lit­tle thing that can be of­fered to you from within our bub­ble, so that you know that there are peo­ple out there who want you to be bol­stered by our sup­port.

These words con­tain no magic ei­ther but per­haps con­tain a tiny bit of com­fort. For those of you who are af­fected, please know that you have the strength of a com­mu­nity Do­nate meals and bak­ing Melissa Gir­van 0272099309, Edee Bolton 027848323

I can de­liver meals to peo­ple Melissa Gir­van 0272099309

My busi­ness wants to do­nate food - Edee Bolton 027848323

I can vol­un­teer with clean up Claire Hutt 0276591563

I can do­nate money - Tracey Pick­worth 0272943024

I need tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion - Motueka Rec Cen­tre 03528828

I need pas­toral care - Brent Pick­worth 0274896021

Stan Stroder shov­els silt and mud from a prop­erty in Old Mill Road, Ri­waka, af­ter ex Cy­clone Gita caused dam­age across the re­gion.

be­hind you. In the com­ing weeks, we won’t al­ways know what you need, so please tell us.

Whether it’s a hot meal so that you have one less thing to think about, or a cou­ple of hours of care for your kids so you can clear your head and take stock, please ask. And please keep ask­ing - keep burst­ing the bub­ble that ev­ery­thing is back to nor­mal, be­cause of course we need to be re­minded that for many of you, nor­mal is weeks and months away.

For my fel­low bub­ble-dwellers, if you can’t quite com­pre­hend what all the fuss is about, go and see what our neigh­bour­ing sub­urbs need to over­come. But don’t be a rub­ber­necker. Take your shovel.

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