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Guy announces $5 mln primary sector support package for quake-affected upper South Island

Friday 18th November 2016

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The government will contribute at least $5 million in primary sector support to those affected by the Kaikoura earthquake and its aftershocks, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.

The package is made up of $4 million for Mayoral Disaster Rural Relief funds in Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough districts to help with non-insurable assets such as tracks, on-farm bridges and water infrastructure, Guy said. It will also provide $500,000 in support for Rural Recovery Coordinators in those districts, $500,000 extra funding for Rural Support Trusts and $200,000 a month "to mobilise and support skilled primary industry students and workers for farm recovery work".

Farmers can also apply for emergency rural assistance payments from Work and Income NZ if they are in real hardship, he said.

"Many farms remain isolated due to road closures and some dairy farmers are having to spread milk back on pasture in a controlled way," Guy said. "Most have backup power but lack of supplies is an issue for more isolated farms".

This week Guy said some areas of the coastline were likely to be closed for fishing in the short-term after discussions with local groups after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake lifted the seabed several metres out of the water along about 100 kilometres of coastline, "dramatically altering paua and crayfish habitats".

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