The Skilled worker initiative.
Government has provided $600k to fund skilled on-farm workers and volunteers to assist with recovery from the earthquake up to 31 May 2017.
Contact 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) to lodge requests for help on the farm, or to offer your help as a volunteer or skilled worker.
Earthquake Relief Fund for uninsurable damage to primary industries.
Government has announced $4 million towards a primary industries earthquake relief fund for uninsurable infrastructure repairs as a result of the 14 November 2016 earthquake. All earthquake affected farmers, fishers and growers in the Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough districts can apply
for a grant, which may contribute towards repairs but will not completely cover costs for:
- restoring uninsurable primary sector infrastructure
- re-establishing uninsurable pasture (on cultivatable land only), crops, and forestry
- initial clean-up of silt and debris (where uninsurable).
This could include: on-farm access roads, tracks, races, bridges without sides, dams and reservoirs, as these are generally uninsurable. Priority will be given to essential repairs to continue farming, such as roadside boundary fencing, boundary fencing, access tracks and stock water supplies.
- You don’t have to have repairs completed before applying for a grant.
- Due to the large quantity of damage the earthquake caused, the total cost of repairs is expected to be greater than the $4 million available. People are advised to make any repairs you can afford now rather than waiting and expecting to receive a grant.
- Any grant will be a contribution towards repairs, up to a maximum of 50% of the cost.
- Damage must exceed $12,000 in total for you to be considered for assistance.
- An excess of $5000 will be deducted from the 50% that is eligible for funding. The amount awarded may be adjusted if eligible funding requests exceed the $4 million available.
- The maximum any one entity could receive from the fund is $50,000.
- Funding may be available where the cost of repairs (for example to fences, water reticulation) exceeds the limited cover provided by insurance. Applicants will need to deduct any insured amount that can be claimed from insurers.
- Funding is not available for repairs that can be insured, but were not.
How to apply
- The application form and more information is available on the Marlborough District Council website. Keep or estimate any evidence or information you have about the cost of repairs, and that they are uninsurable. Fill in the application form and send it by email or post.
Where can I get help with my application?
- If you do not know if your repairs are insured or not, you will need to talk to your insurer.
- Workshops are being held to go through the application process. If you have any questions contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP).
When will I find out if I am successful?
- Decisions will be made by 31 March 2017 and you will be advised of the outcome of your application shortly after. In some urgent cases you may be contacted before the deadline.
The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE’s) temporary accommodation service is available for people in both rural and urban areas whose primary residence has been damaged by the earthquake. MBIE uses undamaged private market accommodation and looks at solutions when there is no supply.
Specifically for farmers, Rawhiti Domain Units will be offered for sale to earthquake-hit farmers for their residual book value of around $25,000 (plus costs of relocation, services, consents). Of 20 units, 13 are available now.
Farmers needing any form of temporary accommodation or interested in a unit should register at www.temporaryaccommodation.mbie.govt.nz or call 0800 673 227 as soon as possible.
Flexible tax arrangements
Flexible tax arrangements are available in some cases if you’ve been affected by the earthquake, including:
- late deposits and early withdrawals for affected farmers and fishers
- waiving interest and penalties for late filing and payments of tax
- GST exemption for Ministry of Social Development (MSD) pay-outs to employers.
Talk to your accountant for details, or contact Inland Revenue via their website or phone 0800 473 566.
Road access and travel
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is managing all roads in and around the affected areas. For more information, see the NZTA website or contact the NZTA on 0800 44 44 49 or email EQSHRoadInfo@nzta.govt.nz
The Earthquake Commission and home insurance
Customers have until 14 February 2017 to lodge a claim with their private insurer which is also passed to EQC. Where customers have already lodged home building or contents claims with EQC, these will be passed onto their insurer by EQC so there is no need for people to make another call.
You can contact the EQC on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 32 62 43).
Other resources available to those who need them
- Contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP for a free, private and confidential chat. A Trust representative can come to see you and, if needed, point you in the right direction for further help.
- The Government Helpline is open for calls about all government support available, on 0800 77 99 97 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
- If your circumstances have changed as a result of the earthquake, talk to your accountant, bank, and Work and Income to see other help for which you may be eligible.