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Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced a new $520,000 fund to help the Kaikoura paua fishing community as the latest primary sector support following November’s earthquakes.

This new fund follows the almost $3.5 million that has already been granted to farmers and growers for uninsurable infrastructure repair following the November 2016 earthquakes.

Speaking at a visit to the area today, Mr Guy said the new fund was part of acknowledging the challenges faced by the commercial paua fisher community since the earthquake.

“We have set aside up to $360,000 that can be distributed directly as grants for affected commercial paua fishers,” said Mr Guy.

“Extra funding of $40,000 is going to strengthen the essential community-based support for the commercial paua and sea weed harvesting community of Kaikoura.

“This part of the package is similar to what we have done with the rural sector to help them recover from the impact of the earthquake, by funding recovery activities through their local Rural Support Trusts. The Trusts have done a great job in supporting primary sector farmers, fishers, families and workers.

“The package also includes $110,000 to support recovery of the paua population, which we recognise is urgent, and $10,000 as a contribution to restoring safe boat access for commercial fishers.”    

“The primary sector recovery funds are also focused on helping affected farmers, fishers and growers to plan for the future, especially where land use needs to change.

“Many people in the Kaikoura, Hurunui and Marlborough regions are now faced with the challenge of deciding what to do with their land which has changed as a result of the quakes. In May I released the Primary Industries Earthquake Recovery Fund, designed to help with those decisions.”

The $5 million Earthquake Recovery Fund is divided into two options to give farmers, growers and foresters the right support depending on their needs. Funding for community projects can be up to $600,000 over three years for projects starting from October 2017. Funding for advisory services can be up to $5,000 per property.

“By the start of August, farmers will be able to access an approved list of advisory service providers to consider their future land-use options, and community groups who have applied for project funding will be advised whether their project was successful.”

Following the November earthquakes, the Government announced an Earthquake Relief Fund for the initial phase of repairing uninsurable infrastructure.  90 grants have now been distributed to farms, orchards and forestry blocks to help with repairs for their uninsurable infrastructure.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Skilled Worker and Volunteer programme wrapped up on 30 June 2017. A total of 65 farms had teams of skilled workers and volunteers through to help with labour – mainly fencing.

More than 12,000 skilled worker hours and 2000 volunteer hours of work were provided by 43 skilled workers and 56 volunteers. 

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