Council Grants Help Communities Prepare

20 December 2011

'Fire Engine Day' - an event with fire engines, ambulances, police cars and doctor and nurse dress-ups - is set to come to Hataitai early next year thanks to a Community Preparedness Grant from Wellington City Council.

Organised by the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society (RNZPS), Rongotai Branch - this is one of the first groups to receive a Community Preparedness Grant, a new grant established by the Council in October.

Council Grants Subcommittee Chair Councillor Stephanie Cook says 'Fire Engine Day' is "an inspired way to bring the community together while raising awareness about the kinds of things that could happen.

"I was in Christchurch only recently, and having seen how things are still, I can safely say that you cannot be prepared enough.

"Community groups are already making a huge effort in their neighbourhoods to encourage people to get to know one another and become aware of their strengths and vulnerabilities. These grants can help boost their work, while also making us aware of what is going on at a community level," says Cr Cook.

Other organisations to receive a Community Preparedness grants allocation for this round include:

  • Mt Cook Mobilised, who plan to host a series of information-sharing presentations and encourage activities for Neighbours Day Aotearoa next year
  • New Crossways Community Trust, who will publish instruction kits for street reporters to refer to in case of an emergency. Each street in Mt Victoria has been assigned a reporter who will be able to check every house on their street to check that everyone is okay and see if any special assistance is needed.

The General Grants for this round have also been announced. One of the recipients is the Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre, who operate the soup kitchen on Tory Street. The centre plans to offer a 'digital storytelling workshop' for eight of their customers, which will give them an opportunity for creative self-expression - and the chance to be seen and heard by others in the community.

Centre Manger Philippa Meachen says the workshop will be led by Digital Storytelling Aotearoa.

"It will be a collaborative project with Wellington Information Communication Technology (ICT), who have generously offered their support with computer facilities, technical support and volunteers. We are thrilled with their support and that of the Council in funding the project."

Another project that received funding is a collaboration by Cuba Creative, Downstage and Random Films, who plan to create a live magazine-format show for an online audience. The goal is to showcase Wellingtonians' creativity, create conversation and celebrate Wellington's essence by focusing on arts, culture and lifestyle.

The Council is encouraging everyone in Wellington to get to know their neighbours and to take time to celebrate together during Neighbours Day Aotearoa (24-25 March 2012).

Information on Neighbours Day and Wellington City Council grants can be found on the Council's website,, or people can phone the Council on (04) 499 4444.

The next round of Community Preparedness Grants and the General Grants Pool close on 30 March 2012.