Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Flood recovery fund set to open

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Farmers affected by the Canterbury floods will be able to apply for a chunk of the Government’s $4 million flood recovery fund.
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Applications open on July 9 and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is encouraging all farmers and growers affected by the May 30 and 31 flooding in Canterbury to apply for support from the new $4m fund.

MPI deputy director general of agriculture and investment services Karen Adair says the fund has been set up to support the region’s recovery from the one-in-200-year rainfall event.

“This financial support will help flood-affected farmers and growers across Canterbury to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Adair said.

“The clean-up task ahead of primary producers is massive and some are facing significant costs not covered by insurance.”

About 100 of the worst-affected farmers have already been offered grants from the initial $350,000 fund established shortly after the flood.

If those farmers require extra support, Adair says they are encouraged to submit a new application to the now larger fund.

MPI has been working with Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Deer Industry NZ and local councils to determine how the financial support can have the greatest impact.

The grants are targeted at assisting farmers to clear flood debris, enabling pasture and fodder crops to be resown.

“Our highest priority is the clean-up of debris such as shingle, boulders, trees and silt, to return paddocks to a productive state,” she said.

Applications can be made retrospectively for clean-up work already undertaken.

The size and allocation of grants will be determined once all the applications have been received.

Only farmers with 51% of family income coming from the farm are eligible to apply.

And, only freehold land and land covered by the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 is eligible.

Grant applications will be assessed by an independent panel, made up of people

who sector groups have helped to select.

The assessment panel, while yet to be confirmed, will consist of people with a strong understanding of farming businesses and rural communities in Canterbury.

“They (panel) will confirm that grants meet the eligibility criteria and that the allocation process is fair, consistent and transparent,” she said.

“MPI will contribute up to half of the clean-up cost for uninsurable works.”

The panel will be given some discretion to consider exceptional hardship and psychosocial circumstances.

On completion of the fund, a random selection of applicants will be audited.

Applications for the fund will open on July 9 and close on July 30.

A full list of criteria, an application form and details of how to apply will be available on MPI’s website: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/funding-rural-support/adverse-events/dealing-with-floods/

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