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More aid for Gisborne farmers

28 August 2002 Media Statement

More aid for Gisborne farmers

Cabinet ministers have approved more aid for farmers in the Gisborne region affected by floods earlier this month.

Social Services Minister Steve Maharey and Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton confirmed that Cabinet this morning granted enhanced Taskforce Green funding to Gisborne farmers as requested.

Enhanced Taskforce Green means that 100 per cent of employment costs are paid by the Government. The allocation to Gisborne farmers is approximately $25,000, and will enable 18 workers be employed for 4 weeks.

Mr Maharey said workers employed under the Taskforce Green programme would help farmers clean up their farms and clear away debris.

$20,000 has already been granted from MAF’s adverse events fund to pay for co-ordination of the relief effort, preparation and delivery of three technical seminars to advise farmers and horticulturalists of their options and priorities to minimise risks to their business, and for rural trust financial counselling services.

Enhanced Taskforce Green funding is usually allocated when a civil defence emergency is declared, but Mr Sutton said that every case should be decided on its merits.

“With Associate agriculture minister Damien O’Connor, I visited Gisborne last week to see first-hand the damage wreaked by the storms. I saw enough to agree to the Federated Farmers’ request for enhanced Taskforce Green funding.”

The ministers said Gisborne farmers had also asked for a grant from the Economic Development Ministry for machinery hire, but this has been declined. In previous occasions, machinery allocations have only been made when civil defence emergencies have been declared.


ENDS

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