The Government through MPI is funding skilled on-farm workers to assist with recovery from the Earthquake.
Contact 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) to lodge requests for help on the farm, or to offer your help as a volunteer or worker. This includes worker contracts, health and safety induction and training, and coordinating travel and logistics.
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:
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.
How to apply
Where can I get help with my application?
When will I find out if I am successful?
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:
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
Farmers who need an extra hand on the farm as a result of November’s earthquake and aftershocks can call 0800 FARMING (327 646) and have their needs matched with skilled workers and volunteers.
“As we move from the response to recovery phase, some farmers and growers will need skilled hands to get back to pre-quake operational levels,” says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
“For example, many farmers have suffered damage to key infrastructure such as fences and water reticulation systems. This kind of infrastructure requires experienced labour to get back up and running,” says Mr Guy.
The initiative uses the Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING line as a single point of contact. The line has been open to members and non-members since the earthquake and has a comprehensive database of both farmers’ needs and offers of help.
“It’s fantastic to see some volunteer workers and networks have started some of their own initiatives. Officials will be extending a hand to these groups to encourage them to work with this centralised resource if possible,” says Mr Guy.
“All skilled workers deployed will be appropriately remunerated and volunteers can have some costs reimbursed. The initiative will also help ensure that issues such as like health and safety are managed in what is still a challenging situation,” says Mr Guy.
MPI has contracted Agriculture Employment Services Ltd (AgStaff) and Federated Farmers to manage the initiative over the next four months. This includes worker contracts, health and safety induction and training, coordinating travel and logistics, and the reimbursement of fair and reasonable costs for volunteer workers.
All calls for assistance will be managed to either AgStaff (for labour assistance) or other support organisations who are involved. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Resources available for earthquake recovery assistance:
Are you, or do you know, a top farmer in the South Island?
Nominations and/or entries are open for the 2016 Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition which rewards and promotes excellence,innovation, efficiency and sustainability in
Any farmer in the primary production sectors can be nominated including
agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and aquaculture.
The Lincoln University Foundation offers a top prize of a $20,000
travel grant to undertake further farm study or pursue farm business
opportunities, plus four $5000 cash awards for the best performers in
the fields of resource management, consumer awareness, innovation, and
human resource management.
Nominations and/or entries are open now and close on 1 August 2016. See
for nomination/entry forms.
Dry stock farmers’ salaries have grown strongly in the past year, according to Federated Farmers and Rabobank’s 2015-16 employee remuneration report.
Despite tough times and low inflation, most sheep, beef and grain farmers have provided higher average salaries.
Salaries in the dairy industry remained stable but there has been a small decrease in the value of extras farmers provide their staff, such as firewood and internet access, pushing the total value of their package down.
Federated Farmers dairy industry group chairman Andrew Hoggard said that could reflect the industry’s emphasis on ensuring that salaries matched staff skill levels and extras were not used to plug shortfalls.
The report also showed the message on compliance was getting through to dairy farmers, with the number of employment agreements and recorded hours on the rise.