The $70 million Government fund announced last month for the removal of sediment and debris from commercial properties, is now open for applications.

Of the $70m, Hawke’s Bay will get $62.6m, and the remaining $7.4m will go to Tairāwhiti.

Consultant Gus Charteris put the clean-up cost for HB’s horticultural sector at $169 million, out of a total of $1.5 billion that modelling showed was needed for full sector recovery. Consequently, growers have asked for half that amount. On that basis, the Government $62.6m would represent about 75% of the clean-up portion of hort’s recovery.

The funding is on a cost-share basis and capped at $210,000 per commercial property.

Applications can now be made by eligible parties to be approved by an assessment panel, covering work done or due to be done, said Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chair Hinewai Ormsby.

The Regional Council will be administering the fund and applications can be done via the council website between June 1 and June 30.

Given the significant number of businesses that have been impacted, funding wouldn’t necessarily meet the needs of every eligible business, said Silt Recovery Taskforce lead, Darren de Klerk.

“This means we will have to prioritise the funding based on those businesses who will find it most difficult to recover without assistance. We will be looking at the impact on previous year and future year income and the impact on the commercial premises as key measures for how we prioritise the allocation of funding,” de Klerk said. 

Up to $40,000 (GST exclusive) will be made available as a grant, and will be calculated keeping in mind any previous support given via the Cyclone Gabrielle Farmer and Grower Recovery Grant, and/or the Business Recovery Grant.

Up to $210,000, (GST exclusive) would be allocated as reimbursements, with a 50:50 cost share. The balance is borne directly by the business and is for entities that had not applied for any other Crown funding to meet its contribution.

However, some growers have clean-up costs that run into the millions, and some may not be able to afford to pay their half. Some growers haven’t started clean-up because they’re not sure if the money will be there, Hawke’s Bay Fruit Growers Association Brydon Nesbit said.

“Growers will have to put in quotes or submit invoices. It’s a help and people will get some of their money back. We are still waiting for the next round of announcements about [funding for] reinstatement and redevelopment of crops.” 

Nesbit said the industry was still in discussion with Government about the next phase. It was thought an announcement of additional support would be made early June, but now it’s expected to come later in June, Nesbit said.

HBRC can provide assistance with the application if needed. Contact the council on 0800 108 838 or [email protected]

Public interest journalism funded by New Zealand on Air.

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1 Comment

  1. For those affected parties, yet a further announcement into an annoucement, must be more, than frusting! All the while the government changes the names of places, rivers and road signs into maori. Just saying ….

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