Government commits $4 million additional support for flood-affected Canterbury farmers

Did our president’s latest newsletter to NZIAHS members do the trick and persuade the Government to be more generous to Cantabrians?

Professor Jon Hickford’s comments in the newsletter on issues related to ag/hort science and to the sectors they serve included this observation:

The Government’s response to the flooding which inflicted millions of dollars of damage on farmers, growers and others in Canterbury – the offer of $500,000 of help – was sadly ill-timed.  It coincided with the announcement of a $780 million investment in a bridge for walking and cycling across the Waitemata harbour, to be built alongside but separately from the Auckland Harbour Bridge. 

The Government has not reconsidered the bridge project, so far as we know.  But it has increased its financial help for the cleanup after the flood.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced the Government is injecting a further $4 million into relief funding to support flood-affected Canterbury farmers who are recovering from the damage of a historic one in 200 year flood.

An additional $100,000 will be provided to the Mayoral Relief Fund to support Canterbury communities.

“Our Canterbury farmers are dealing with a massive recovery effort following the recent floods and facing significant costs that aren’t covered by insurance,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The flooding has caused widespread and significant damage across a number of districts and recovery efforts are ongoing and considerable.

“It’s clear that extra funding is needed to relieve pressure on farmers who have also been battling drought. 

“This new funding will help ensure that they are supported and can get on with the job of fixing their farms and get their farming operations underway again.

“On the ground assessments of farm damage are showing the impacts on some rural properties have been severe, some of which are likely to be uninsurable.” 

The funding is in addition to the $500,000 committed by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 1 June.

“MPI has already started depositing grants into the bank accounts of severely flood-affected farmers, and we will continue to work closely with Federated Farmers, Rural Support Trusts, councils, and industry organisations to support farmers with their recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri said the region’s farmers and their communities have a big clean-up job ahead of them.

“The new funding we’ve announced today should help towards paving the way for ongoing recovery efforts in Canterbury.  The Government remains committed to helping them get through,” Meka Whaitiri said.

Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi said the additional $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund follows an earlier contribution of $100,000 announced on 31 May.

“This funding will help meet the ongoing needs of individuals and families, community organisations, and marae affected by the flooding,” Kris Faafoi said.

The funds will be provided to the Mayoral Relief Fund to be disbursed across the Canterbury region and is in addition to other support that people may be eligible for through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and MPI. In addition, Enhanced Taskforce Green funding of $500,000 from the Ministry of Social Development, which was announced earlier this month, has been activated to help with the clean-up.

The Government has now committed more than $5 million to assist with the flood recovery in Canterbury.

Source:  Office of the Prime Minister 

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog