Applications for funding from the primary industries Earthquake Relief Fund are now open, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

“Recently we announced a $4 million fund for uninsurable on-farm infrastructure repairs in the Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough districts. Applications are now open and will close at the end of February, and I’m hopeful the panel will make an initial assessment of some applications before Christmas,” says Mr Guy.

“Criteria for applications has been released which includes re-establishment of uninsurable assets like water infrastructure and opening up tracks, culverts and farm bridges.

“There will one Assessment Panel across the three districts, including the Mayor of each region and representatives from Federated Farmers, Rural Support Trusts, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and independent farm consultants.

“Any grants will be a contribution towards repairs, covering a maximum of 50% of costs. There will be an excess of $5,000 and capped at $50,000 per applicant.

“Applicants need to provide information including evidence of impacts and assessments of costs, ideally with photographs. Those who have already paid for work should keep a full record of your receipts and invoices.

“In these first few weeks the priority for most farmers is assessing the damage and working out what needs to be done. However people shouldn’t wait for the earthquake relief fund to make essential repairs and can apply for the fund at any stage of repair. Contact EQC for your dwelling, and your insurer as soon as possible.

“The process for this fund is similar to that used after last year’s Taranaki-Horizons storm, which a subsequent review found to have worked well.

“Farmers will also welcome new legislation which proposes that emergency works to farm properties become permitted activities until 30 March 2017.”

Mr Guy made the announcement while in North Canterbury today before visiting Kaikoura again and local farmers around Woodchester.

Application forms, criteria and full membership of the Assessment Panel can be found on the Marlborough District Council website: http://www.marlborough.govt.nz/Services/Emergency-Management/Emergency-Events/eq2016/PIERF.

Completed forms should be sent to pierf@marlborough.govt.nz and these will be coordinated prior to the panel meeting.

Three Rural Recovery Coordinators funded by the Government have also been confirmed – Jo Buckner (lead) in North Canterbury, Chris Faulls in Marlborough and Colin Nimmo in Kaikoura.

Anyone requiring information and support should call their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) or the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997. Also Federated Farmers are coordinating offers of help and requests specifically for farmers via 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646).

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