West Coast Flood relief AnnouncedAssociate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control
In a joint statement today, the Minister and Associate Minister of Food and Fibre, Hons John Luxton and David Carter, said that more than $70,000 had been allocated immediately for West Coast flood relief.
"Extreme weather conditions have caused severe stress for farmers this year. While many think that it is only drought that causes problems, floods and high rainfall can have a devastating impact on rural areas as well, the Ministers said.
"This funding recognises the difficulties farmers on the West Coast, particularly in Westland, have had with extremely high levels of rainfall occurring this winter."
The $72,000 will fund a response co-ordinator, as well as helping to boost a local Rural Support Trust and a Community Relief Fund, supporting farmers and families in need.
The Government has allocated the money from a MAF fund for adverse climatic events.
The Associate Minister, David Carter, visited the West Coast earlier this week meeting West Coast mayors as part of a tour of forestry operations on the Coast.
"It was apparent to me from the landscape and from discussions with local people that heavy rainfall has caused extreme hardship this year."
"The West Coast is renowned for its rainfall, but this year has seen saturation point passed and farmers and their livelihoods have suffered."
"The announcement of flood relief funding will be a boost to many of the communities I visited," he said.
The Government will also consider in the next two weeks an application for income assistance for West Coast farmers, similar to the application from drought-stricken farmers in the East Coast of New Zealand earlier this year.
"This measure should support farmers struggling with the difficulties of farming rain-sodden properties. The Government hopes it will help get farmers and their families back on their feet," said the Ministers.