[2 March/NZ Farmer]

The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities, Damien O’Connor, announced that the damage caused by former cyclone Gita in Taranaki and parts of the Tasman district met the criteria to be classified as a medium-scale adverse event which would trigger funding for recovery efforts. He noted that intense winds caused significant damage to trees, sheds, and roofs among other things. Some areas are still without power. Mr O’Connor added that a lot of work was needed to make farms safe, rebuild infrastructure, and clean up the mess left behind by the cyclone. Flooding from the storm and wind damage both contributed to the impacts in the area. Assistance from Enhanced Task Force Green and Rural Assistance Payments are available subject to approval by the Minister for Social Development.