Thursday, April 25, 2024

Feds welcome cyclone recovery funds

Federated Farmers has welcomed the Government’s injection of $4 million to help farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners and rural communities mobilise and co-ordinate cyclone recovery efforts.

Federated Farmers President, Andrew Hoggard says even more significant is the Government’s acknowledgement that the breadth of Cyclone Gabrielle’s destruction is unprecedented and that the funding is an initial response.

“The toll on roading and electricity networks will be extremely costly. Urban areas have been pummelled too. Federated Farmers will be advocating strongly to government that its prime focus, and additional resources to fix that infrastructure, should be top of their agenda,” said Mr Hoggard.

He said Federated Farmers was concentrating on reaching out to the hardest hit districts, particularly in Northland, Coromandel, Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay, and getting information to Emergency Management to help ascertain priority needs and keep people safe.

“We’ve also been in contact with the New Zealand Banking Association, Inland Revenue and other agencies to ask them to explore postponement of hard deadlines and other ways to help lessen immediate financial impacts.”

“For some farm businesses, the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle coming on top of Cyclone Hale and an already unseasonably wet season in North Island provinces will be a body blow,” said Mr Hoggard.

He said rural communities were renowned for their fighting spirit and willingness to pull together.

“We need that more than ever. Feds has had calls already from less impacted farmers asking how they can help colleagues who have taken a hit.”

“We’ve set up systems on our website to register those offering labour, resources or donations (fedfarm.org.nz).”

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