Adverse event declared for Canterbury region, unlocking support for farmers

 Adverse event declared for Canterbury region, unlocking support for farmers
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has declared an adverse event for the Canterbury region, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers. “My decision to classify this as a medium-scale adverse event ensures funding of $500,000 for flood recovery measures,” Damien O’Connor said. “The funding will help speed up the recovery of farming businesses, and includes wellbeing support and specialist technical advice. “The money will be used for recovery grants, to enable the region’s three Rural Support Trusts to provide extra help to farmers, and for other flood assistance where needed. “We will continue to assess whether further support is required as the full extent of the flooding becomes clearer. “About 400 millimetres of rain has fallen on parts of the region, causing widespread flooding and significant damage to property and the road network. “It’s putting further pressure on farmers who have been battling drought and we’re committed to helping them get through.” A state of emergency has been declared for the Canterbury region. “I’m on the ground in Canterbury today to speak with officials and farmers about how the Government can assist rural communities. “Based on the advice I have received from Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff based in the area, the scale of impact is beyond the communities’ ability to cope.” Other recovery measures being considered include an Enhanced Taskforce Green work programme to assist with clean-up and recovery, Rural Assistance Payments to help farmers with essential living costs, and flexibility through the Income Equalisation Scheme. MPI is working closely with Civil Defence Emergency Management staff, industry groups and others to help with the recovery effort, including the animal welfare response. “Support is available for farmers who are short of livestock feed, or who have had baleage and fodder crops washed away or damaged by floodwaters,” Damien O’Connor said. The national Feed Coordination Service can help connect farmers with supplementary feed which has been donated or listed for sale. The national feed coordinator Kate Wood can be contacted by email on kate@ruraldirections.co.nz Farmers needing expert support to do a feed budget can contact the Feed Planning Service by phoning 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352) or 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 432 479 69). Farmers who need wellbeing support should call their Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP or 0800 787 254. ENDS Media contact:
Sean O’Brien 022-367-7326sean.o’brien@parliament.govt.nz  Note to Editors: What’s an adverse event?The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) makes the classification, usually following an approach by the community. There are three adverse events – localised, medium and large-scale. These cover things like droughts, floods, fire, earthquakes and other natural disasters and take into account the magnitude of the event, the ability to prepare for it and the capacity of the community to cope.  Assistance measures can include:·        Resourcing for rural recovery co-ordination.·        Resource for on-farm farm clean-up. This could involve the co-ordination of volunteers or the use of Enhanced Taskforce Green.·        A boost for the local Rural Support Trust to help serve their communities with pastoral care, including organising local events and arranging recovery facilitators who work one-to-one with farmers and growers.·        Technology transfer activities and events.Other usual recovery measures, which may include tax flexibility and income assistance options, can be made available as appropriate.  More information on adverse events is available at:https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/adverse-events/Phone the Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)   Contact:Sean O’Brien022-367-7326Sean.O’Brien@parliament.govt.nz 

Sean O’Brien Press Secretary

Office of the Hon Damien O’Connor

Minister of Agriculture

Minister for Trade and Export Growth

Minister of Land Information

Minister for Rural Communities

Minister for Biosecurity

Office: +64 4 817 9076 | Mobile: +64 22 367 7326

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