Wairarapa farmers and growers affected by Cyclone Hale are invited to ask for help if they need it.

Up to $80,000 has been released by the Government to the East Coast Rural Support Trust to help with the recovery from the considerable damage caused by Cyclone Hale last week.

This follows the announcement of $100,000 to help co-ordinate relief efforts in the Tairāwhiti region. The trust’s Wairarapa branch is already taking the lead, visiting affected communities to assess the need.

Trust team members have met with Civil Defence, MPI, local councils, Federated Farmers and transport firms. They plan to co-ordinate teams of local volunteers to help with fence clearing and recovery next week.

If you can help with the clean-up or would like assistance, please contact the trust at one of the numbers below. Please also check with neighbours including smaller holdings or newcomers to the area.

Cyclone Hale was classified as a medium-scale event in the Tairāwhiti and extended to the Wairarapa after storm damage to the eastern coastline of the region.

The classification unlocks assistance such as tax flexibility with Inland Revenue to help farming and forestry businesses even out income fluctuations.

Farmers and growers may have experienced land slips, flood debris and silt (rivers, pasture, fence lines), fallen trees, surface water over arable crops, bruised fruit due to high winds and ongoing loss of road access.

Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor acknowledged the stress the situation was adding to rural families.

“It’s important they receive the help they need to recover from this storm, which follows hard on the heels of other high rainfall events in recent months.”

Rural Support Trust contacts