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Further call for flood relief applications

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry New Zealand
Te Manatu Ahuwhenua, Ngaherehere, Aotearoa
Media release


25 November 2004

Further call for flood relief applications

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is encouraging lower North Island farmers, growers and foresters affected by the February and/or August 2004 floods to submit their applications for relief funding as soon as they can.

Programme Manager Cheryl Craig says there will still be applications to come for partial assistance for farm and forestry recovery and she’s keen to see as many of them as possible before the holiday season.

“The Palmerston North office will be closed between Christmas and New Year and assessment committees will probably not be able to be reconvened until mid to late January 2005,” she says.

“Likewise if claimants have receipted invoices and/or proof of payments available, please send these in to us.”

Ms Craig is keen to correct any misperceptions farmers, growers or foresters may have about the complexity of the forms. “The team in the Palmerston North office are very happy to help with any questions and Agricultural Recovery Facilitators are available to help complete forms.”

The Palmerston North office phone number is: 06 351-7921.

Assistance is also available for foresters whose stands were damaged in the storms. The Government has allocated an additional $3.36 million under the Agricultural Recovery Programme to clean up and reinstate forestry areas.

Applications for forestry recovery assistance close on the 30th November 2004.

Applications for general farming recovery close on 1 May 2005.

The Agricultural Recovery Programme was established to provide partial assistance for farm and forest recovery following February’s and August’s floods in the lower North Island. To date, over $3.5 million in assistance has been paid out to applicants.

“The sums paid to applicants span a wide range from thousands of dollars to some six figure sums,” Ms Craig says.

Administered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the programme has received around 500 applications for assistance. Ms Craig says that payments have been made in respect of over 100 applications.

“The remaining applications have largely passed through the first phase of processing where they are assessed to determine if they’re eligible for funding help”, she says.

Those farmers and growers with eligible applications that have passed through the first phase will have been advised and informed which items they can claim for, together with the estimated costs of those repairs and reinstatement. They will have also been given information about how to advance their claim.

“Work has to be done and receipted invoices and/or proof of payment sent in for review before any payments can be made,” Ms Craig explains. “Applicants do not have to have all the work completed and paid for before submitting receipted invoices. They can drip feed these through.”

ENDS

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