The New Zealand Lottery Grants Board set up a special Lottery Earthquake Relief Fund for the Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough districts in December 2016. This Lottery Earthquake Relief Fund aims to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people living in areas affected by the 14 November 2016 earthquake and the aftershocks. The Fund provides grants for a community or public benefit purpose (related to neither business nor employment support).
Initially a 10 December 2016 Special Lotto draw provided $2.7 million for immediate assistance with earthquake recovery activity. This was subsequently 'topped-up' to $5.41 million. A clear process outlines that, once grant applications are made by not-for-profit organisations, a five person subcommittee decides on the distribution of the Fund. This subcommittee has representatives from the Lottery Canterbury/Kaikōura and Lottery West Coast/Nelson/Marlborough Community Committees to allocate funding. The subcommittee’s approach is aligned to Community-Led Development principles and enables localised leadership and decision-making. The speed and coordinated approach of the application process, to meet urgent and identified need in the circumstances, was greatly welcomed by local organisations and councils.
The Special Lotto grant assistance is wide-ranging, for example, employing recovery team members by local councils, support for the navigator service, and help for recreational and social programmes to improve community wellbeing and repair of earthquake-damaged equipment and community facilities.
Nearly $4 million of the $5.41 million fund had been allocated at the end of September 2017 across the Kaikōura, Hurunui and Marlborough District Councils for outreach and information coordinators, winter warming coordinators, youth programmes, restoration of community facilities, such as netball courts and help in recovering museum collections and upgrading libraries.
In July 2017, the Lottery Grants Board ring-fenced a further $7.5 million for larger capital works in the affected districts. This initiative arose from feedback from communities and organisations that a range of capital works projects, rebuilding and repairing community assets, are necessary to support a sense of community spirit and recovery. This initiative provides additional flexibility to go beyond a previous threshold that limited grant requests to capital works grants up to $30,000 for wellbeing, and health and safety.