Government support for flood-affected Gisborne Tairāwhiti farmers and growers

Rural Communities

Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor has classified this week’s Cyclone Hale that caused significant flood damage across the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne District as a medium-scale adverse event, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers.

“We’re making up to $100,000 available to help coordinate efforts as farmers and growers recover from the heavy rain and subsequent flood damage across the Tairāwhiti region,” Damien O'Connor said.

“The effects of Cyclone Hale follow hard on the heels of other recent storm clean-ups in the region, compounding stresses for those involved.

“It’s important to help those farmers and growers now facing a big clean-up effort after the storm dumped over 200mm of rain over 24 hours in some parts of the district,” Damien O’Connor said.

The Ministry for Primary Industries will continue to work closely with adverse event networks and sector groups to monitor the storm’s impact, determine where the need is and how the funding will be allocated.

A state of emergency remains in place across the district and many roads remain closed.

“While the full extent of damage will take days to be revealed, it is clear there have been significant effects on some farms in the region, with silt and woody debris piled up and multiple roads closed.

“The debris on farms, hill slippage, road closures and damage to culverts, farm tracks and other infrastructure, means farmers and growers will face many months of work to get back on track.

“This funding will help in the clean-up, enable one-on-one mentoring support, strengthen local connection through gatherings and events to support the region’s recovery,” Damien O’Connor said.

In addition to the funding announced today, Inland Revenue has activated its Adverse Event Income Equalisation Scheme for the Gisborne District. This will enable farming and forestry businesses to even out income fluctuations by spreading their gross income from year to year. 

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

Helpful links and 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