[12 June/Farmers Weekly]

The Government has declared the flooding around the Tolaga Bay area a medium scale event according to Agricultural and Rural Communities Minister, Damien O’Connor. Metservice forecast heavy rain and severe gales for parts of northern and central New Zealand including parts of Gisborne where significant damage was caused. Mr O’Connor said the second storm in a week was bringing more intense rainfall to the area. He added the area’s infrastructure, farmland and plantation forestry was significantly damaged with silt and forestry debris washing up over farmland and damaging bridges. People were evacuated to safety and stock were reported as lost. Mr O’Connor noted getting farmers, their families, workers, animals and businesses safely through the next few days was paramount. When the storm has passed, they were ready to focus on clean up and recovery.