Dealing with floods

Information and resources on dealing with floods.


Bay of Plenty Primary Sector Recovery Grant

The Minister for Primary Industries on 9 June 2017 earmarked $200,000 to help Bay of Plenty farmers with flood recovery following the April floods and storms caused by ex-cyclones Debbie and Cook.

Primary producers in the area can apply for grants of between $2000 and $10,000 per farming business to help towards costs that primary producers have incurred as a result of the storms. Applications will be administered by the Whakatāne District Council against criteria set by the Government.

Who can apply for a grant

You may apply if you are a farmer or grower who:

  • is based in the Bay of Plenty
  • has uninsurable infrastructure loss and clean-up costs as a result of the April storms
  • derives your principal income (at least 51% of household income) from primary industry. In this case, we mean the primary production of meat, wool, dairy products, arable farming, aquaculture, horticulture, viticulture, forestry, sharemilking, an orchard, apiculture, herb or flower growing, a market garden and poultry farming (not hobby or lifestyle farming)

What the grant covers

The grant can contribute to your work restoring the physical integrity of your primary sector business. Any funding given must be used for its intended purpose.

It does not cover any income loss for your business.

Eligible works under the grant include uninsurable damage sustained during these events and associated with:  

  • re-establishment of uninsurable pasture (on cultivatable land) and crops
  • clean-up of silt and debris (where uninsurable), where the work needed to be done as a matter of urgency following the storms. For example, where vines needed to be cleared so as not to rot from water damage. You cannot claim for support from Enhanced Taskforce Green or from volunteers who didn’t incur costs to you.

How to apply

Make an application through the Whakatane District Council.

Medium-scale event classification

Other extra recovery assistance measures made available directly following the storms, include:

  • enhanced Task Force Green teams to help with cleanup
  • funding for the Rural Support Trust to coordinate recovery activities and events
  • rural assistance payments for extreme hardship
  • tax flexibility.

These are on top of the normal range of financial support available to all New Zealanders. Farmers whose incomes have changed should talk to Work and Income about their options.

Contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) for a free and confidential chat about your needs or someone you are concerned about.

Need support?

If you or someone you know could benefit from a free, confidential chat, call your Rural Support Trust on 0800 78 72 54.

Update your records if you moved stock

Farmers who had to quickly move stock during the flooding to ensure their animals' welfare, should update their NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme) records.

Ensuring animal records are up-to-date is vital to ensure that NAIT can provide the biosecurity and disease management support that is central to protecting farmers’ livelihoods.

If you need help with your NAIT account or updating your records call 0800 48 24 63.

Support contact numbers 

  • Federated Farmers: 0800 32 76 46 then choose option 3 for feed offers or requests, or option 4 for other on-farm help, including stock movements and generators.
  • Kiwifruit growers: 0800 23 25 05 (NZKGI)
  • Other fruit and vegetable growers: 0508 46 78 69 (HortNZ)
  • Dairy farmers: 0800 43 24 79 69 (DairyNZ)
  • Fonterra suppliers: 0800 65 65 68
  • Open Country suppliers: 021 272 1558

Other websites

After flooding – heed advice

Safety first

  • Don't put yourself at risk from contaminated water, damaged roads, or landslides and the like.
  • Look for and report broken power lines to Horizon on 0800 46 74 96. Treat all lines as live.
  • Trees may be unstable due to saturated ground and high winds.
  • Be conscious of security. Lock your cars and house. Report suspicious activity to Whakatāne police on (07) 308 5255.

Health and wellbeing

  • Throw away food and water that has been contaminated by floodwater.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
  • For disposal of hazardous waste, including farm chemicals, call EnviroWaste on 0800 000 611.

Your property

  • Report flooded homes and needs for temporary accommodation to Whakatāne District Council on 0508 30 60 500.
  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which stock water troughs are contaminated with silt and will need cleaning?
  • Assess damage to access lanes, tracks, gateways, culverts and fences. What clearing away of flood debris is needed?
  • Assess damage to pastures, the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other undamaged feed reserves.
  • Accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.

Financial assistance

  • Talk to your accountant, bank manager, or Work and Income. There are options for help.
  • Talk to Inland Revenue about tax relief.
  • Talk with the Whakatāne District Council on 0508 306 0500 about the Mayoral fund.
  • If you and your family are affected by flooding, you may able to get a Civil Defence payment.
  • The Rural Women NZ Adverse Events and Relief Fund may be able to help.

Insurance advice

  • Lodge your claim as soon as you can, even though you may not have all the information.
  • Take notes and photos of all damage.
  • Talk with your insurer during the call about temporary accommodation support if needed.
  • Carry out emergency repairs such as making buildings safe and weatherproof. Take photos of any damage you’re repairing to add to your insurance claim.
  • Call your insurer before carrying out non-essential repairs.
  • If you need to throw items out, such as perished food, please take photos first.

Take good care of yourself. Recovering from a flood is a big job. It is tough on both your body and your spirit. Learn how to recognise and care for anxiety, stress and fatigue. Call your local Rural Support Trust if you are concerned about someone's stress levels or mental wellbeing.

Support available for other events

MPI works closely with local Rural Support Trusts and sector organisations to monitor severe storms and flooding.

Farmers affected by severe flooding should call their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 78 72 54 with information about what is happening in their area, or if they are experiencing any issues.

Find out more

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