Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather

Agriculture Rural Communities Social Development and Employment

The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island.

“We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to help with flood relief efforts,” Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today.

“$500,000 is being made available to provide unskilled and semi-skilled jobs for local people who will support farmers, growers, and communities by completing clean-up work on their properties.

“The damage to farms, homes, roads, and bridges across the regions affected is extensive and no doubt will take a long time to be fully assessed. By making this funding available, local councils and other authorised agencies can hire job seekers to help.”

The flooding and storm damage in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty has also been classified as a medium-scale adverse event, which unlocks extra support for farmers and growers.

“Some areas have recorded unprecedented amounts of rain, which has flooded farmland, damaged infrastructure, and washed away some crops,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

“The record rainfall comes on top of what has been a challenging and wet season for many in the upper North Island, which compounds the stress for people. It’s important we contribute to helping farmers and growers who have managed their way through these events.

“Funding of $200,000 will be allocated to Rural Support Trusts who know their communities and what support is required to help people through.”

“This targeted funding for the clean-up and rural communities is on top of the more than $1 million the Government has already provided to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland,” Rural Communities Minister Kieran McAnulty said.

“While the full extent of the damage will take weeks to be revealed, it is clear there has been significant impacts on communities, farmers and growers across the upper North Island. We’ll be keeping a close eye on things over the coming weeks and whether further support is required.”

Government agencies, councils and sector groups will continue to work together to monitor the storm’s impact, and determine where support should be targeted to the greatest need.

In addition to the funding announced today, Inland Revenue is set to activate its Adverse Event Income Equalisation Scheme for the affected regions. This will enable farming businesses to even out income fluctuations by spreading their gross income from year to year.