Westpac NZ is extending relief options for customers in regions affected by Ex Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, including Tairāwhiti, Northland, Auckland and Thames-Coromandel, where a state of emergency has been declared.
Small businesses may be eligible for $2,500 cash grants, and business and personal customers may also be eligible for a range of other support.
$1 million Small Business Flood Relief Fund
Small business customers financially impacted by Ex Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for a $2,500 cash grant to help with urgent expenses or repairs.
The fund will cover regions where a state of emergency is declared. The grants also remain available for customers affected by flooding in recent weeks in Northland, Auckland, Waitomo and Thames-Coromandel.
Customers can apply at www.westpac.co.nz. The $1 million fund will remain available until it is fully allocated or until 5pm on Friday 24 February 2023, whichever is earlier. Terms and conditions apply.
Business and personal customers affected by the severe weather may also be able to access the following support:
- Suspension of principal payments for up to three months on business loans
- Deferred payment on business credit cards for up to three months
- A temporary overdraft facility for business customers
- Access to term deposit funds for individuals suffering hardship
- Suspension of home loan payments for up to three months for individuals ahead on their repayments and who have a sufficient undrawn balance
- Hardship support for customers facing significant financial challenges.
Westpac NZ chief executive Catherine McGrath says it’s been a difficult start to the year for many customers.
“Upper North Island residents were just catching their breath from the extreme weather and flooding two weeks ago and now this new weather system has caused even more damage,” Ms McGrath said.
“We acknowledge the impact these back-to-back extreme weather events is having on our customers and we are here to help them get through.”
Ms McGrath says the $2,500 cash grants were initially offered to small businesses affected by flooding in late January.
“We’ve assisted operators in a range of industries, including hospitality and construction. Many reported losing stock and equipment, as well as damage to premises.
“We have also been helping businesses that have lost income due to customer cancellations, and a number of organisations that remain badly impacted by the closure of State Highway 25A across the Coromandel.”
Ms McGrath asked customers to stay across closures to branches by visiting the Westpac website.
“Today all of our branches in Northland are closed. Some branches in Auckland, the Coromandel, Gisborne and other parts of the upper North Island are also closed or may shut early. Customers should take care when planning a visit to a branch and consider calling our contact centre instead.”