Wellingtonians are all too aware that we’ve grown up on a faultline, and right at the edge of an unpredictable ocean. But despite this, we’re not always good at planning for disasters. Experiences of the Christchurch earthquakes made it clear that well-organised community groups are ideally suited to respond to a crisis.
More than this, coming together to ensure community resilience in the future can strengthen community ties today. That’s why the awesome team at the Nikau Foundation are putting together the Wellington Resilience Fund, money raised by the community, for the community.
We chatted to Matthew, part of the team behind the Nikau Foundation, to find out what makes this campaign so important.
1. Why do you think this campaign is important?
The Wellington Resilience Fund is a community-oriented response to threats we face. These could be earthquakes, climate change or financial crises. Some threats we don’t yet know about. These might occur over the next 20, 50 or 100 years. Contributions to the Resilience Fund are invested and the interest earned is paid as grants to community groups and projects every year, forever. So the Resilience Fund can address issues that we don’t even know about yet. Nikau Foundation makes giving to causes in Wellington easy.
Central and local government are focused on big infrastructure projects which will help the Wellington region get through a disaster. The Wellington Resilience Fund acknowledges that strong and connected communities, i.e. neighbourhoods, are important too. That’s why we want to support community access to water tanks and solar power. We also want to support groups who encourage connection and preparedness like community gardens and predator free groups.
Everyone in the community can contribute to the Wellington Resilience Fund. Every contribution, large or small, will keep on giving year after year.
2. What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?
We were approached by Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office (WREMO) to create a resilience fund. Nikau Foundation wanted to make the Wellington Resilience Fund a community fund. That means community raised funds to support community groups and projects. The more money that is raised, the more that can be granted back to our communities every year.
3. What do you have planned for the rest of your campaign – anything for us to look forward to?
We will be giving away one A3 artwork to someone that pledges for any reward. This will take place this week, the last week of our campaign.
We also want Wellingtonians to get prepared and connected at work. So we’re going to give away five bars of chocolate to people who tag their work on our Facebook post.
We’ve also had a generous donation which will enable us to put a community water tank into Upper Hutt’s Orongomai Marae this week. This is before our campaign has even ended. Everyday counts when it comes to resilience.
Our target of $20,000 will merely get the Wellington Resilience Fund started. We will continue to raise funds because there is really no limit to what this fund could achieve.
We’re keen to work with businesses and their staff to contribute and also local schools. We’re developing badges that will show businesses and schools support the Wellington Resilience Fund. These will be available for use on websites, e-newsletters and print publications.
4. Anything you want to shout out to your crowd?
We’re so grateful to everyone who has pledged so far.
It’s important for a region like Wellington to develop community resilience. This fund will serve the Wairarapa, Horowhenua and all points south to the Cook Strait. If you love and care for Wellington like we do, then get on board.
Finally we really want to thank some key people. Mike Murphy OF Waihora Films shot our video. Peter Edge provided the narration. Wellington Mayor Justin Lester helped out too. Glenn and Shannon of the Wellington Photographic Society donated time and images. Brenda at BNZ Partners Centre, Dean at Foxplan and the teams at AMP Capital, Booster and AdCorp have been great. As have Dan at WREMO, Stephen Templer and the teams at Flight Coffee and Wellington Chocolate Factory. Thanks also to Survive-It, Predator-Free Island Bay, The Water Tank Guy, Pomegranate Kitchen, Scent Floral, Tindall Foundation, Women in Super, Westpac, WCC Social and PledgeMe.