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As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding.

“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups have acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way,” says Mr Guy.

“I want to recognise the tireless efforts of Civil Defence and council staff, emergency services, volunteers, lifeline utilities, and a host of other agencies who have contributed to a number of local and regional responses.

“I visited Otago yesterday and have spoken to local Mayors today in these regions where the focus is now turning from response to recovery. The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is continuing to monitor the situation, and is poised to coordinate government assistance as required.

“The impacts of these floods will be felt for some time in communities throughout Canterbury and Otago. The Government is ready to provide support where it’s needed, and financial assistance is available to local authorities that have been affected.

“While local States of Emergencies are being withdrawn as river levels in both Canterbury and Otago recede, authorities are mindful further rain is forecast in coming days and the public are urged to take care. Don’t drive through floodwaters and avoid non-essential travel as there is still widespread surface flooding and debris on the roads.”

Mr Guy, who is also the Minister for Primary Industries, says the Ministry for Primary Industries has been working closely with Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + LambNZ, local Rural Support Trusts and others to help farmers stay informed and manage through the initial flooding.

Farmers are encouraged to make contact for feed, information and any other assistance to Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING). Farmers with feed available should also proactively get in touch with Federated Farmers.

Key contacts:

Civil Defence Payments Work and Income - those needing urgent financial assistance to cover emergency costs should call 0800 559 009 MPI animal available for advice - call 0800 00 83 33 Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254(0800 RURAL HELP) Federated Farmers activated 0800 FARMING to match rural needs with offers of assistance Dairy Farmers can call Dairy NZ for advice on 0800 4324 7969.

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