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MPI working closely with response agencies as fire conditions continue

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Ministry for Primary Industries is monitoring the situation in Tasman district closely as further water restrictions are announced.

"This is a very challenging time for farmers, the horticulture and wine industries in the region and, of course, for the whole community who have been affected by wildfire and drought conditions," says David Lindsay, MPI Regional Controller.

"We are working closely with Tasman District Council, Rural Support Trust and other agencies to ensure rural communities are supported as the drought bites and we move into the second week of the fire."

A medium-scale adverse event for both fire and drought was recently declared for Tasman district, unlocking Government support for farmers and growers.

"We are monitoring the situation very carefully and are working with other agencies as the situation develops."

"Please conserve as much water as possible while still providing for your animal and human welfare needs, as the dry conditions continue."

Advice to rural communities:

Providing shade and shelter

Contain livestock in paddocks where there is adequate shade for every animal. Check that the water supply is still drinkable. Low dams or ponds may be surrounded by mud or sludge. Fencing off these areas will prevent animals from potentially becoming entrapped.

Stock levels

It is critical stock levels on properties are appropriate to the water restrictions currently in place. Farmers and lifestyle block owners need to be making active destocking decisions.

Feedline

Federated Farmers has opened its Feedline to support farmers who have been affected by the fires and need extra feed or grazing for their animals. Farmers who are short of feed, or who have feed to donate, can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646. Anyone affected by fires and needing feed for animals can register for this help but availability is dependent on donations and priority will be given to farms who rely on farm income for their living and have been affected by fire.

Wildfires and animal welfare

For properties affected by the wildfire, MPI has animal welfare staff at each cordon during the access periods. We encourage people to approach our staff at the cordons if they have any concerns or need help.

For further animal welfare advice or assistance contact MPI’s animal welfare team on 0800 008 333 (Option 4).

Animal welfare officers are posted at the cordons, at each of the four valleys that were evacuated. We will be there every day when the cordons are open, to talk to people visiting their properties and animals.

In the valley areas where there is still restricted access, MPI has animal welfare staff at each cordon during the access periods and we encourage people to approach the MPI staff at those cordons if they have any concerns. They are there to make sure MPI is aware of any issues.

Rural Support Trust

Farmers and growers communities are also able to access support from the local Rural Support Trust who can provide free and confidential support, advice and referrals, including with health, finances and more. The RST can be contacted on 0800 787 254.

Background:

What’s an adverse event?

The Ministry for Primary Industries makes the classification, usually following an approach by the community. There are three adverse events - localised, medium and large-scale. These cover things like droughts, floods, fire, earthquakes and other natural disasters and take into account the magnitude of the event, the ability to prepare for it and the capacity of the community to cope.

Assistance measures can include:

Resourcing for rural recovery co-ordination.

Resource for on-farm farm clean-up. This could involve the co-ordination of volunteers or the use of Enhanced Taskforce Green.

A boost for the local Rural Support Trust to help serve their communities with pastoral care, including organising local events and arranging recovery facilitators who work one-to-one with farmers and growers.

Technology transfer activities and events.

Other usual recovery measures, which may include tax flexibility and income assistance options, can be made available as appropriate. 

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