We've all been seeing the devastating scenes in New Zealand and we've been wanting to help in a meaningful way.

Adopt a community matches our council with a council and community badly hit by the cyclone.

It's a nationwide initiative that connects councils with some of the most devastated regions — community to community.

We raise money for our adopted community — Hastings — by encouraging donations to their mayoral relief fund or another official channel.

It's a way for our community to reach out and support a community that has been hit hard, by raising money for them. It gives us a direct connection with a badly affected community.

We know from experience that getting communities back on their feet is a marathon, not a sprint. That's especially true with a disaster at this scale. We'll be looking and medium and long-term support too.

This is just one way for us to express support and find a connection with another community. There are lots of other opportunities to donate that we can also support.

Civil Defence Emergency Management groups in New Zealand continue to ask that people do not donate goods and instead donate to relief funds. We know that donating goods seems like the right thing to do but often the donations don't match what communities need. Monetary donations are the most useful as they assure organisations can provide what is really needed to those affected.

If you are in a position to donate, please think about giving to Hastings. Donations can be made to the Hawke's Bay Disaster Relief Trust 02-0700-0010824-002.

Adopt a community poster