Firefighters battling the ongoing blaze.
The Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni has commended the efforts of everyone involved in tackling New Zealand’s largest bush fire in decades.
“My thoughts are with those people working hard on the frontline to contain the Nelson/Tasman fires, with families who’ve had to evacuate and all who have been affected by this devastating event,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“I’d also like to thank MSD staff who have worked tirelessly over the weekend and last week to provide support for those needing help because of the fires.
“Staff have been managing a steady flow of requests for support, including help with accommodation, food, clothing and bedding.
“MSD is here to support those affected by the Nelson/Tasman fires, with urgent or unexpected costs – it could be anything from petrol or medical costs to assistance in the event of a workplace being closed.
“The government appreciates the impact of the Nelson/Tasman fires on the region’s farmers, businesses and other employers and we’re committed to providing support. MSD has assistance available for people whose workplaces may have closed during the event.
“I encourage anyone who is experiencing any kind of hardship in relation to the Nelson/Tasman fires to get in touch with MSD on 0800 559 009. The contact centre is running extended hours for fire related enquiries.
“For people who are able to come into a service centre, the Nelson, Richmond and Motueka Services Centres are all open today, Monday 11 February, until 5pm.
“If you are disabled or have particular health needs, please contact the DHB, where there are Health Navigators in place to help with any urgent calls for support.
“I also advise anyone in the area who’s affected by the Nelson/Tasman fires to keep a close check on social media, as MSD is providing regular updates on opening hours and any extra assistance available through Facebook and Twitter,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
For more information on what support is available, please check the MSD website.