Saturday, April 13, 2024

Cyclone recovery fund boosted by $23 million

The Government has announced a further $23 million to support more farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners, and rural communities as they recover from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor said helping rural communities to get back on their feet as quickly as possible was a priority for the Government.

“Since we launched the grants in late February we’ve seen strong uptake from farmers and growers, with the number of applications reaching almost 6,000 by closing date. We’ve moved at speed with $37 million paid out so far and this boost is expected to meet the remaining applications to be processed,” said Mr O’Connor.

“Having spent time on the ground we knew it was likely there would be more need as people took time to take stock and work through their clean-up from Cyclone Gabrielle, including those in very isolated communities.”

The extra grant funding takes total primary sector cyclone recovery support to $78 million to date.

“It enables the Government to honour all eligible applications received, which means we can get money into the hands as quickly as possible,” the Minister said.

Applications for the clean-up grants closed on 20 March, but those in hard-to-reach areas had until 3 April to apply.

“We understand farmers, growers and other rural businesses are critical to the local economies, providing jobs as well as export revenue for us all,” said Mr O’Connor.

“It’s important they have access to help now to protect future production, for example by saving vital trees, vines and pasture, and making repairs.”

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