Tasman growers facing major cleanup

  • Nathan Guy
Primary Industries

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has visited hail-affected orchards in the Tasman region and says growers are coping well despite the damage caused last week.

“The massive hailstorm last Tuesday has caused a range of damage to approximately 40 apple and kiwifruit orchards around Motueka, Riwaka and lower Moutere,” Mr Guy says.

“A Response Committee has been formed with local growers and the Ministry for Primary Industries to help the recovery effort. The immediate focus is identifying affected growers, supporting them and their families and also managing labour needs for New Zealanders and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers.

“Hail storms do happen in this area, but local growers tell me this was the worst in living memory. It is very sobering to see the destroyed netting and fruit.

“The full extent of the damage will be assessed over the next two weeks for insurance purposes, and to see if any crops can be saved. Some pipfruit orchards will have hail insurance.

“Kiwifruit growers through their industry insurance scheme would have insurance of around $2 per tray, which would cover some costs.”

Mr Guy visited the area today with Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, and says local and central government are working closely together supporting industry leadership.

“Growers are resilient and are used to dealing with Mother Nature, and will get through this. I urge anyone with concerns to contact the Response Committee or the local Rural Support Trust who can help coordinate support.”