Dealing with floods

Information and resources on dealing with floods.


Otago and Canterbury flooding – 24 July 2017

MPI is working with Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM), Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, the local Rural Support Trust and others to help farmers manage and stay informed through the initial flooding.

Farmers are encouraged to make contact for feed, information, and any other assistance to Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING).

Farmers with available grazing or feed should also proactively get in touch with Federated Farmers, as lack of feed supply may become an issue.

There is a lot of cleanup work to do. Looking after your wellbeing, your families, and your workers is a priority. The Rural Support Trust in your area can also help with this on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP).

Dairy farmers can call DairyNZ on 0800 43 24 79 69 if you need advice.

For animal welfare advice, call MPI animal welfare on 0800 00 83 33.

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.

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 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 000 611.

Your property

  • Report flooded homes and needs for temporary accommodation to your 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 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.
  • 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. 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.

Find out more

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