You are currently viewing $25m for rural cyclone recovery ‘wasn’t huge’
Waikato Hauraki Coromandel Rural Support Trust chairperson Neil Bateup said more generators were needed for farmers during weather events. File Photo.

$25m for rural cyclone recovery ‘wasn’t huge’

A $25 million support package for those in the rural sector affected by Cyclone Gabrielle “wasn’t huge” given the scale of the damage, the Rural Support Trust says.
The government last week announced $25 million in grants to help with recovery efforts for farmers, growers, whenua Māori owners, and rural communities who were significantly affected by the cyclone in mid-February.
Waikato Hauraki Coromandel Rural Support Trust chairperson Neil Bateup told The Profile the funding was a “good opportunity” for the rural sector but it “wasn’t huge” given the scale of the clean up.
“It’s just a general pool, anyone from anywhere will be able to fill the application form and send it in and they’ll all be assessed somewhere in Wellington but it’s not specific to regions, just available to anyone who has been affected,” he said.
Those in the rural sector can apply for cyclone recovery grants through the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Grants are available for growers of $2000 per hectare up to a maximum of $40,000 to remove silt from trees and vines, support the clean-up, and minimise tree and vine losses; and also for pastoral and arable farmers of up to $10,000 to help initial recovery on-farm, such as repairs to stock-water infrastructure for stock and fencing.
The Rural Support Trust held a flood recovery and support information session at Hikutaia Hall on February 23.
Rural Support facilitator Sam Owen, who hosted the event, said around 40 dairy, drystock and beef farmers attended from as far away as Whangamatā.
“They all wanted to know some information that they would love to explore further,” he said.
“A lot were slowly getting on top of the workload, a few are still trying to grasp the scale of the damage they’ve got and working out what steps to take next… and a few of them were feeling for the guys in Hawke’s Bay and wondering what they could do to help them.”

Mr Bateup said the trust was currently supporting Hauraki-Coromandel farmers who had to rehome their animals after the floods and were in need of feed.
“There have been a couple of farms who have had to rehome their animals because their farms were flooded and other farmers have taken their animals in and looked after them until such time they can go back to their farms that they belong to,” he said.
“I’m aware there’s also some feed being donated and that will be needed for some people to actually get through this pinch if they had flooded farms.”
Mr Bateup said more generators were needed for farmers during weather events.
While the Hauraki-Coromandel rural community supported each other amid the floods, there was a shortage of generators to keep businesses operating, he said.
“The issue is obviously up the Coromandel with access and power and I’m aware that there were generators being shared around three or four farms to get cows milked… which is really good,” he said.
“But there probably weren’t enough generators and I think that’s something the farming industry needs to look at going forward.
“Farmers need to have a generator or a generator to share amongst three or four so if these things were to happen, there’s a way to keep the business ticking over.”
DETAILS: For more information contact Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254. To apply for a grant visit: