Smith to Visit Waimana Flood Region

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Agriculture Minister Lockwood Smith is to visit the Waimana flood region today.

The flood at the beginning of last month caused damage to forty farms in the region. Approximately 20 hectares of land has been lost permanently, 410 ha covered by more than 150 millimetres of silt, 540 ha covered by between 50 mm and 150 mm of silt, and 680 ha covered by less than 50 mm of silt.

Five farmers have 60% or greater of their land affected by severe to moderate silting while another 15 farmers have 40% of their land affected. The remaining 20 farmers have damage to less than 40% of their land.

Taxpayers have assisted with the clean-up through the Government's Community Taskforce and Taskforce Green schemes.

On 30 July, Federated Farmers requested further assistance of up to $100,000, plus income support. Officials have advised Dr Smith to reject this request arguing that it falls outside Government policy, and that $100,000 plus income support is unfair given Government assistance following other adverse events around the country.

However, Dr Smith wants to see the effects of the flood for himself before deciding whether to accept or reject this advice. Dr Smith will be shown the flood damage by Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers President Bruce McDougall.