Dealing with floods

Information and resources to help you deal with floods.

UPDATE – 19 July 2021

West Coast and Marlborough floods 2021

Flooding in the West Coast and Marlborough regions in July 2021 has been classified as a medium-scale adverse event.

The Government's decision unlocks $200,000 to support flood-affected farmers and growers.

The funding will be used to help farmers recover and includes wellbeing support and specialist technical advice and other flood assistance.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be working with industry groups, such as DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers and NZ Winegrowers, to determine how the financial support can have the greatest impact.

Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund

Applications are open for a $4 million fund to help flood-affected farmers and growers in Canterbury.

Widespread flooding triggered by a one in 200-year flood rainfall event in late May 2021 caused significant damage.

The financial support will help flood-affected farmers and growers get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

MPI has been working with Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Deer Industry New Zealand, and councils, to determine how this funding can have the greatest impact.

Grants will 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 can be made retrospectively for clean-up work already undertaken. The size and distribution of grants will be determined once all the applications have been received.

Owners of properties where the principal income (more than 51%) is from the primary industry business, are eligible to apply. (Grant funding is not available for lifestyle farming).

Applications will be assessed by an independent panel, made up of people that sector groups have helped to select.

The panel's members will confirm that grants meet the eligibility criteria and that the allocation process is fair, consistent, and transparent. The panel will have some discretion to take into account exceptional circumstances.

If funds remain after applications for debris removal are assessed, then the repair of farm infrastructure – such as fences, culverts and tracks – may be considered for a second funding round.

Applications for the fund close on 30 July 2021. An application form, checklist, the criteria, and a fact sheet are available to download.

Application form – Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund [DOCX, 103 KB]

Application checklist – Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund [PDF, 93 KB]

Criteria and principles for the Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund [PDF, 107 KB]

Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund – fact sheet [PDF, 1.8 MB]

Applications open for $4 million Canterbury Flood Recovery Fund – MPI media release

People who require assistance to complete their application, or who would like advice on the fund's criteria, can contact MPI:

2021 Canterbury Floods – Rural fact sheet [PDF, 3.1 MB]

Feed support services

Support is available if you need help sourcing supplementary feed or grazing for your livestock.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is funding DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers, and other specialist providers to offer feed planning and coordination services.

Find out how to access feed support services

Canterbury floods 2021

Widespread flooding in the Canterbury region in May/June 2021 has been classified as a medium-scale adverse event.

The Government's decision unlocks funding to support farmers and growers.

It will help speed up the recovery of farming businesses and includes wellbeing support and specialist technical advice.

The money will be used for recovery grants, to enable the region's Rural Support Trusts to provide extra help to farmers, and for other flood assistance where needed.

Government commits $4 million additional support for flood-affected Canterbury farmers – Government media release

Adverse event declared for Canterbury region, unlocking support for farmers – Government media release

Feed support services for flood-affected farmers

Support is available if you need help sourcing supplementary feed or grazing for your livestock.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is funding DairyNZ, 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:

Source supplementary feed to buy

List surplus supplementary feed for sale

Grazing on offer

Grazing required

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, 464 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.

Preparing for a flood – Beef + Lamb NZ fact sheet

During and after a flood

Safety first

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.

Your property

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.

Farms and seawater flooding

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.

Financial assistance

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.

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 out some items, such as perished food, take photos first.

Emotional recovery

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.

Rural Support Trusts  

Rural Women NZ  

Find out more

How you can get help

Flooding resources

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