Dealing with floods
Information and resources to help you deal with floods.
UPDATE – 1 September 2021
Applications for the Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund closed on 30 July 2021 and are being processed.
Widespread flooding triggered by a one in 200-year rainfall event in late May 2021 caused significant damage.
The fund was set up to provide financial support to flood-affected farmers and growers.
MPI worked with Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Deer Industry New Zealand, and councils to determine how the fund could have the greatest impact.
Grants are to assist farmers to clear flood debris from their paddocks, such as shingle, boulders, trees, and silt. MPI will contribute up to half of the clean-up cost for uninsurable works.
Applications were assessed by MPI and an independent panel made up of people that sector groups and local mayors helped to select. The panel members are: Dr William Rolleston, Wayne Allan, Elle Archer, John Van Polanen, and Winton Dalley.
The panel is helping MPI to confirm which applications met the eligibility criteria, and to ensure the allocation process was fair, consistent, and transparent.
A total of 168 applications were received. Over three-quarters of applicants are expected to receive a grant. Most of these grants are confirmed. Some grants are provisional until additional detail is supplied and reviewed by the independent panel. The remaining applications received were for damage that fell outside the funding criteria.
If the recovery fund is not fully allocated, then further applications may be sought for other purposes to support recovery by the region's primary sector.
South Island flooding 2021
Widespread flooding events occurred in the Canterbury region in May and June 2021, and the West Coast, Tasman, and Marlborough districts in July 2021.
Both events were classified as medium-scale adverse events.
The Government unlocked funding to support farmers and growers. The funds are being used to help farmers recover and includes wellbeing support, specialist technical advice, and other flood assistance. A total of $4.7 million has been allocated.
- 2021 West Coast, Marlborough and Tasman floods – Fact sheet [PDF, 1.5 MB]
- 2021 Canterbury Floods – Rural fact sheet [PDF, 1.7 MB]
Support is available if you need help sourcing supplementary feed or grazing for your livestock.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) funds Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers, and other specialist providers to offer feed planning and coordination services.
Feed Coordination Service
The Feed Coordination Service helps connect farmers with surplus feed – such as hay, silage, or grazing – to farmers who need it. You can use these online Feed Coordination Service forms to get or offer feed or grazing:
Need feed now? Call 0800 FARMING or 0800 32 76 46 and follow the voice prompts.
Feed Planning Service
The free Feed Planning Service connects farmers with an industry expert to get feed planning assistance. Having a feed budget can help you:
- calculate your feed demand
- calculate your feed supply
- investigate options to fill feed gaps
- proactively make decisions.
Feed support services for farmers during floods – Fact sheet [PDF, 1015 KB]
Getting a plan in place can help give you peace of mind. We can help you do a snapshot feed plan in 20 minutes.
Need support now? Call 0800 FARMING or 0800 32 76 46 and follow the voice prompts.
Preparing for floods
A flood can have devastating effects on a farm business, affecting livestock, land, and buildings. The best way to minimise damage is to be prepared.
- Plan what to do with your pets, livestock and valuable equipment.
- Know where the closest high ground is and how to get there.
- Check your insurance policy.
During and after a flood
Don't put yourself at risk from contaminated water, damaged roads, or landslides and other hazards.
Look for and report broken power lines to your electricity provider. Treat all lines as live.
Trees may be unstable due to saturated ground and high winds.
Be conscious of security. Lock your car and house. Report suspicious activity to police.
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 00 06 11.
Report flooded homes and any need for temporary accommodation to your local council.
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 flood debris needs to be cleared?
Assess damage to pastures and the depth and type of silt.
Assess available non-flooded pastures and other unaffected feed reserves.
Accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.
Seawater flooding on farms
We've got information to help you if your farm gets flooded with seawater.
Update your NAIT records if you moved stock
If you had to move stock during flooding update your NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme) records. Ensuring animal records are up-to-date is vital to ensure that NAIT can provide biosecurity and disease management support.
If you need help with your NAIT account or updating your records call 0800 48 24 63.
Talk to your accountant, bank manager, or Work and Income. There are options for help.
Talk to Inland Revenue about tax relief.
If you and your family are affected by flooding, you may be able to get a Civil Defence payment.
The Rural Women NZ Adverse Events and Relief Fund may be able to help.
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 out some items, such as perished food, take photos first.
Take good care of yourself. Recovering from a flood is a big job. 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.