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NCC opens Rapid Response Fund to support pandemic community response

Rapid Reponse Fund Website Banner V1

Napier City Council has set up a $50,000 fund to help non-profit social service and community organisations supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Napier.

The fund, which opens for applications on Monday, 4 May, has been established by pooling together unallocated community funding and unused grants, for example, from cancelled events.

The primary goal of the fund is to support those organisations which have incurred additionial costs or who have provided new services to meet the basic needs of the Napier community. It could be used to cover costs of, for example, Personal Protective Equipment, packaging, and to reimburse volunteers for their expenses. It covers costs from the start of lockdown.

The focus is on those who have been helping vulnerable people in the community, such as those over 70 years old, existing homeless or those who have recently become homeless, people with high health needs, young people, or those on a low income and/or living in vulnerable neighbourhoods.

The fund will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Applications will be assessed and forwarded to a funding panel for a decision as they are received, to ensure a quick turnaround.

The panel comprises the Mayor, People and Places Committee Chair, and Napier Controller, based on their experience during the pandemic response, and knowledge of the community sector.

Natasha Mackie, Manager Community Strategies, and Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise have worked on the scheme together. “We will also be approaching organisations to make sure they are aware of the scheme. We want to support the people providing these services as much as we can,” says Ms Mackie.

The fund extends a helping hand to those organisations and groups making a difference in the community, says Mayor Wise. “Many of them rely on volunteers. I look forward to helping  the organisations working in this space and I’m pleased we’ve been able to set something up to respond to their needs quickly, in a way that hasn’t been tried before.”

The Community Services Grants Scheme for 2020/21 was due to open for applications last month. It has been put on hold while priorities are reassessed, to align with Napier’s Recovery Plan. A one-off Community Recovery Fund may be established that supports the community sector, and community-led initiatives to manage any issues and take opportunities that arise during the recovery phase.

Applications will be taken up until 31 May or until the fund has been allocated, whichever comes first. To find out more, or for assistance with an application, telephone 834 4114, or email

Application forms can be completed online: Rapid Response Fund 

1 May 2020

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