1 Mar 2018

Funding available for some farmers hit by Gita

4:40 pm on 1 March 2018

Government funding is being made available to some farmers hit by cyclone Gita.

Old MacDonalds Farm and Holiday Park.

Old MacDonalds Farm and Holiday Park. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O'Connor has classified the storm as a medium-scale adverse event.

This triggers funding for recovery efforts including clean up teams, rural assistance payments, tax flexibility, and Rural Support Trust community events.

The help applied to farmers in Taranaki and parts of the Tasman district, where Mr O'Connor said they met the criteria.

"These two regions bore the brunt of Cyclone Gita.

"Our farmers and growers in Taranaki were suffering from drought including a severe lack of feed for the last few months and then coastal, southern and eastern Taranaki in particular was hit hard by the storm.

"Intense winds caused significant damage. Thousands of trees are down and the wind has collapsed sheds and damaged roofs."

He said the Tasman region was also badly hit, but by flooding more than wind.

"Silt and debris have been washed into farm and orchard land, and orchardists are working to urgently clear silt away from apple and other production crops."