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Government package for flooded areas

18 February 2004 Media Statement

Government package for flooded areas


Taskforce Green workers and a 'one-stop shop' Government agency approach to assistance are included in a package to help those caught in this week's flooding.

Civil Defence and Emergency Management Minister George Hawkins said the package recognised immediate help with cleaning up was the greatest initial need for those affected.

Details of the package include:
- Government agencies, including Health, Work and Income, MAF, Housing and Te Puni Kokiri, co-ordinating their activities with Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) groups’ regional recovery activities in problem areas.
- Activation of Task Force Green Scheme to provide cleanup support where needed;
- The appointment by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MAF) of up to six Agricultural Co-ordinators
- The provision by MAF of technical and consulting assistance in the form of advice to farmers for the rural sector where appropriate
- Activation of the MAF Rural Sector Assistance Special Needs Grants and Rural Support Trust Counseling for farmers and their families where required.
- MAF will be asked to assess the extent of problems in the rural areas and the resources needed to achieve rural recovery. MCDEM will co-ordinate that information with information from the CDEM groups and utilities.

Task Force Green workers has been successfully utilised many times over the last decade to help with the clean up after civil defence emergencies, as well as help restore public assets and external farm fences.

"Again, Government intends funding assistance to both urban and rural communities through the Task Force Green scheme," Mr Hawkins said.

Mr Hawkins said Council costs in dealing with displaced people are fully reimbursed where a civil defence declaration had been made.


Accordingly, via Transfund government will pay both transit and councils to repair bridges and roads at a rate of up to 100 per cent for state highways, and up to 85 per cent for local roads and bridges.

Central government will reimburse councils for up to 60 per cent of the cost of repairing essential infrastructure, above a threshold based on a districts capital value. Certain response costs, other than caring for displaced people, will be treated as for essential infrastructure, Mr Hawkins said.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Mr Hawkins visited affected areas in Manawatu and Rangitikei today.

ENDS

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