Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has today officially classified the storm damage around the the Franklin Ward, Hauraki District and Thames-Coromandel District as a medium scale adverse event.

“The damage here is significant and the recovery phase will be a challenge for some badly affected farms,” says Mr Guy, who visited a storm-damaged farm at Kawakawa Bay today.

“The impact of the Tasman Tempest storm brought heavy rainfall ranging from 350 to 850mm, and is estimated to have been a one in 80 year event.

“Farmers in the Franklin Ward don’t get heavy rainfall as often, and say they’ve not seen anything like this since the 1960s. The more hilly areas have a lot of slips, debris and broken fences, and the flatter areas around Clevedon and Whitford suffered from floodwaters and silt.

“Hauraki-Coromandel farmers were well prepared and are used to heavy rain, but there is still a lot of silt and debris to clean-up. Some farmers have lost livestock and supplementary feed where it was stored in paddocks. However there was also a large enough break in the rainfall for Fonterra to collect milk and prevent losses.

“The Northland region experienced some heavy localised rain, enough to break the drought, and the farming community is generally coping well.

“Extra funding will now be available if required to coordinate support through the Waikato Rural Support Trust who are already on the ground with Federated Farmers assessing needs to help plan recovery activities.

“MPI is also working with the Ministry of Social Development to activate Enhanced Taskforce Green, volunteer workers, and in extreme cases there may also be Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) available to farmers in severe hardship.”

Throughout the storm and its aftermath, the Ministry for Primary Industries has been working with local agri-business groups, the Rural Support Trust, Federated Farmers and councils to ascertain the impact of the flooding on the rural communities. Young Farmers have also offered to help in the recovery efforts.

Farmers are urged to contact the Waikato Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURALHELP, their industry body, their accountant, or Work and Income, to talk through their needs.

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