Psa-V biosecurity event, December 2012

The Minister for Primary Industries declared the Psa-V vine disease affecting North Island kiwifruit growers as a medium-scale biosecurity event under the Government’s Primary Sector Recovery Policy on December 5, 2012.

The kiwifruit industry is facing an unprecedented challenge with this disease.  Since its detection here in November 2010, the Government has worked closely with the industry to provide well-targeted funding and assistance.

In the initial stages of the outbreak, the Government committed $25 million in a dollar-for-dollar partnership with the kiwifruit industry to assist with disease management.

The overall aim at this stage is to help the kiwifruit growers make positive decisions for the future.

The recovery support package available following the event declaration is designed to ensure that those hardest hit get the support they need.

The declaration means the Government will fund provision of services to help affected growers deal with the impacts of the incursion, such as access to technical information, advice and counselling support. The hardest hit growers could be eligible for income support payments.

This is the first time a biosecurity event has been declared under the Policy, which until this year was a tool to help farmers and growers recover from a natural adverse event such as a flood or drought.

Timing

The Government worked with kiwifruit industry representatives to ensure that the declaration was timed to give maximum possible benefit for growers.

While Psa was first detected in New Zealand two years ago, there was quite a time lag before it began to affect orchard incomes.

Help available

The package of approved measures is:

  • Pastoral care, focused on grower welfare initiatives and available through local providers
  • Recovery facilitators who will provide one-on-one recovery help for growers
  • Support with technology transfer, advice and media communications
  • Reimbursement for costs incurred by volunteers
  • Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs), for growers suffering extreme hardship as a result of the incursion.

These measures are being made available through providers contracted to the Ministry for Primary Industries or directly from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).

MSD and the Internal Revenue Department (IRD) also assist affected kiwifruit growers through a range of separate, existing programmes.

To apply

Growers wishing to find out how to access assistance can:

  • Contact New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc on 0800 232 505
  • Contact their local Rural Support Trust, call 0800 787 254 (calls will automatically be directed to the local contact)
  • Contact their local Work and Income office, or call 0800 559 009

 

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33