Government funding relief for flood-affected Wairarapa farmers and growers

The Government has extended its medium-scale classification of Cyclone Hale to the Wairarapa after assessing storm damage to the eastern coastline of the region.

“We’re making up to $80,000 available to the East Coast Rural Support Trust to help farmers and growers recover from the significant damage in the region,” Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O'Connor said.

The support follows Friday’s announcement of $100,000 to help coordinate efforts across the Tairāwhiti region, as farmers and growers recover from the effects of the cyclone.

The decision unlocks Government and other recovery assistance measures for farmers and growers in the area including tax flexibility with Inland Revenue. This will enable farming and forestry businesses to even out income fluctuations by spreading their gross income from year to year. 

Damien O’Connor said the Ministry for Primary Industries has been working closely with sector groups and other agencies to continue assessing the storm’s impact and to determine the best recovery approach.

“Damage to the primary sector includes land slips, flood debris and silt (rivers, pasture, fence lines), fallen trees, surface water on arable crops and likely damage in orchards due to bruising of fruit due to high winds in wet canopies.  The ongoing loss of road access for isolated rural communities in affected areas adds to the impacts,” Damien O’Connor said. 

“I understand the situation is causing a great deal of stress to some families. It’s important they receive the help they need to recover from this storm, which follows hard on the heels of other high rainfall events in recent months.”

Over the weekend Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty also announced a $150,000 contribution to the Mayoral Relief Fund by the Government to help Gisborne communities affected by the storm.

“We will continue to assess whether further support is needed, such as Enhanced Taskforce Green for clean-up, as the full extent of the damage becomes more apparent over the coming weeks,” Damien O’Connor said.

Helpful numbers:

  • DairyNZ: 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 432 479 69)
  • Beef + Lamb New Zealand: 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352)
  • Federated Farmers: 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
  • Farmers who require wellbeing support can contact their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP or 0800 787 254