The Government has today announced extra grants to help Bay of Plenty farmers and growers impacted by April’s storms and floods.

Affected farmers and growers can apply for contributions from the new $200,000 Primary Industries Bay of Plenty Flood Recovery Grant to help with essential infrastructure repair as they continue to get their businesses up and running.

“We know that there has been a lot of extra work for Bay of Plenty farmers due to the substantial damage caused by two ex-cyclones in quick succession,” says Lead Minister for Edgecumbe Anne Tolley.

“While farmers in the region are no stranger to floods, the compounding effects of the April storms was more flooding and wind damage than they would usually expect to deal with and plan for. This is why we classified it as a medium-scale event.

“The local Rural Support Trust has been doing excellent work with key stakeholders to help coordinate and promote rural recovery like hosting events and helping people to navigate services and processes.

“The Trust has also been letting us know that a number of farms are still finding it a challenge to fund clean-up of some of the destruction the storms left in their wake,” says Mrs Tolley.

The funds will be administered by the Whakatāne District Council.

“Farmers and growers can apply for a grant from the fund to help with specific infrastructure repair such as re-grassing of pasture, re-sowing of crops, and clean-up of silt and debris,” says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

“They can use it to cover expenses they have already incurred or to help cover those they have been putting off up to now.

“This helping hand to deal with some of the extra costs associated with the repair of uninsurable infrastructure will make a difference to those who were worst hit,” says Mr Guy.

Farmers are encouraged to call their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP to talk about what they need and get pointed in the right direction for further support, information and advice.

The Government also announced in April $700,000 to further support local businesses, farmers and growers. Inland Revenue also waived late payment fees and penalties for those prevented from paying on time due to the floods.

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