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FMG Contributes A Further $100,000 For Flood

News Release 23 February 2004

FMG Contributes A Further $100,000 For Flood Relief

New Zealand’s leading rural insurer FMG today announced that it is contributing a further $100,000 for flood relief in the Manawatu-Wanganui region. FMG is giving the newly established Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Disaster Relief Fund $100,000; matching the donation it made to the Manawatu Mayoral Relief Fund last week.

FMG’s Chairman Peter Jensen said; “With the full extent of the disaster now apparent, it is clear that the people of the region will require substantial assistance to re-establish themselves and their businesses.”

The Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Disaster Relief Fund has been established to help the wider region and is being administered by the Palmerston North City Council. The Regional Disaster Relief Fund will extend across the Horizons Regional Council’s boundaries, which include Wanganui, Palmerston North, Manawatu, Rangitikei, Horowhenua, Tararua and Ruapehu Districts. Judge Grant Fraser will head this trust and the relief fund will provide funding based on agreed criteria for people in all of these areas.

“With the impact of the disaster now estimated to exceed $100 million and with devastation more widespread that of Cyclone Bola, it is imperative that sufficient resources are made available to the region and quickly. An announcement of further Government assistance is expected today,” Mr Jensen said.

A week after the flooding started, some 1,000 people are still homeless, many roads remain inaccessible, and power and telephone services have yet to be restored to several areas.

Stock losses are still being counted, but will number in the thousands and around 20,000 have been sent out of the region.

“As a business that serves farmers and rural communities and with our head office in Palmerston North, we are acutely aware of the immediate and anticipated longer-term impact on people and their livelihoods and, as a mutual organisation, we felt we had a special responsibility to contribute to the relief effort.”

FMG is best known as a general insurer to rural communities. The company has received in excess of 1,000 claims to date as a result of the recent adverse weather totalling in excess of $3 million dollars, and is processing these claims expeditiously to enable people to re-establish themselves as quickly as possible.

Mr Jensen said that those wanting to contribute to the flood relief funds could make a donation at any branch of the BNZ Bank.

ENDS

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