Our thoughts are with those that have lost lives, homes and livelihoods.
The term “cleanup” doesn’t begin to describe the efforts that will be needed now and long in to the future. The catastrophic destruction was wide-ranging across homes, businesses and infrastructure. A massive effort is already underway to help those in the most need, and ongoing works to repair and improve will likely span the decade.
Please let us know if you’ve been effected and we’ll help in any way we can.
While support is still being finalised, what we know so far is listed here:
Work and Income can provide financial support if you have been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle. You don’t need to be on any kind of benefit to apply.
The main items covered are:
- medical costs
- power bills
- repairs or replacing appliances
- loss of income because you can’t work
- benefits and help with paying your housing costs.
Each case is reviewed individually and will need to be made on an individual basis. You can call Work and Income on 0800 400 100 or visit their site: Cyclone Gabrielle – Work and Income
Please let us know if we can assist with the application in any way by reviewing documentation or providing information.
Xero provides the Xero Assistance Program to all subscribers. They’ve extended this to all businesses in the North Island. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the business, or read more.
The XAP provides free and confidential mental health counselling and resources with a variety of options from face to face, by phone, chat, or online meeting. It’s well worth investing a little time in to your own wellbeing – we highly recommend it.
If your home, car, or contents have been damaged by the severe weather, take photos before you remove or repair anything and report it to your insurance company as soon as possible. You only need to contact your insurance company and they’ll let you know what you need to do next, how to claim and – if applicable – how EQ Cover from Toka Tū Ake EQC works.
If you need to make your home safe, sanitary, secure, and weather tight, please record the work done, take before and after photos, and keep copies of the bills you paid.
If you don’t have house insurance but do have contents insurance, speak to your insurer about what is covered. Make sure you take lots of photos and keep good records before you throw anything out, where possible.
Federated Farmers have provided a great wealth of information and are directly organising all kinds of assistance as part of their ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of the agricultural sector, and those involved in it.
As of 9 March they have raised over $600,000 and have started to put that to use. If you would like to access this support, you can contact them on 0800 787 254, then select option #1, then option #1.
Wayne Langford’s February communication to members says it so well we’ve included it here:
Federated Farmers across the country are asking how they can help those in affected areas. There is, and will be multiple opportunities to assist – may be as a volunteer in the Federated Farmers initiated Farmy Army?
We are working on several initiatives to put together ways that you might be able to help we’ll let you know the details as these come to fruition.
We continue to support farmers impacted by cyclone Gabrielle. Some important updates on what we have achieved and what is available are below.
Banks: Last week Federated Farmers asked all banks to provide support for their flood-affected rural customers. All the major banks responded and are offering support. Please contact your bank or check your bank’s website to see what is available.
Tax Obligations: Don’t worry if you can’t comply. Following our approach to Inland Revenue they advise that genuinely impacted farmers and growers to focus on the safety and welfare of their families, friends, farms and livestock as a priority so don’t worry if you simply cannot file a return or pay tax due or other matters are taking precedence. Filing/reporting extensions will be considered, and IR advise there is no need to contact them immediately – get in touch with IR or your accountant when you reasonably can. Read more here.
Stock Feed: We are running the feed coordination service again – that matches individuals seeking feed with those with feed to sell or give away is back. Please use it here; This service does not organise transport. While well meaning, donations of actual feed (or goods) are not always as welcome as we intend them to be, and can often cause a headache for those who have to deal with them at the receiving end and place pressure on an already stressed roading network.
Our Farmy Army is back: We have set up a register to match those wanting people to help with volunteers offering assistance has been created. Those in need can request help here. Those wishing to volunteer their skills/time can register here.
Generators: Our Strategic Partner, Yamaha has also responded to our request and are bringing generators to the likes of Urban Search and Rescue and Volunteer fire brigades in affected areas.
Insurance: Take Photos, take more photos. FMG has posted insurance claim advice, read this here
OSPRI has deferred reporting deadlines for those affected, details here
Disposal of dead stock: We think the advice of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is sound. HBRC says it is receiving and co-ordinating calls for collection and disposal (06 835 9200 or 0800 108 838). Councils in other cyclone-hit regions are likely to have similar arrangements.
Farmers may be able to bury their own dead livestock as per normal conditions:
- Consider proximity to waterways – should be >50m from a waterway
- Consider usual pest/vermin control
Feds are working with rural retailers to make it easy for you to donate fencing and water supplies. We will keep you updated.
Lastly, for those wishing to offer monetary support, donate funds here to the Farmers Adverse Events Trust
The Government is providing $25 million for farmers and growers to undertake urgent work, including fencing, and clearing silt to save trees and vines impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.
The grants include:
- up to $10,000 for pastoral and arable farmers to help with initial recovery, such as repairs to water infrastructure for livestock, and fencing
- up to $2,000 per hectare (up to a maximum of $40,000) to remove silt from trees and vines, support clean-up, and minimise future losses
Cyclone Gabrielle farmer and grower grants (fact sheet) [PDF, 370 KB]
The agricultural sectors have had a jump start on assistance with help from the Ministry of Primary Industries and workers unions.
It will take longer for Cyclone Gabrielle Assistance to come other businesses, but we will update this article as news comes.
If you have been significantly adversely affected by the January flood or cyclone events, Inland Revenue may remit interest on late tax payments.
For late tax payments due to Cyclone Gabrielle make contact with Inland Revenue before 31 March 2023. An extra month to 30 April 2023 is allowed to make contact about the effects of the January flooding.
IRD will consider various facts on a case by case basis before making a decision. Some key decision elements:
It is equitable
If you have a good history of tax payments and your business is viable there should be no issues.
Taxpayer asked for relief as soon as practicable
IRD themselves asked people not to worry about rushing to make contact. Once you’re settled and stable, and you know that you will be or have been financially impacted such that your tax payment are effected, you can get in contact.
Taxpayer made payment as soon as practicable
As things improve, IRD expect you’ll make an effort to make payments to late taxes in priority over other business costs. Pay employees and costs to repair shop? Yes. New tractor? No, pay tax first.
Donating supplies like fuel, hay and produce to those in need is one way farmers and businesses can help their communities.
In normal circumstances a business’s donation is a “disposal below market value” for tax purposes. This creates a tax liability for the business the same as if they’d sold the stock. Inland Revenue has allowed relief from this, building on legislation brought in for COVID-19.
Stock donated stock between 17 March 2020 and 31 March 2024 may be eligible for this tax relief where it helps those affected by COVID or because of the February 2023 weather events. Recipients may be:
- donee organisations
Approved donee organisations
- public authorities, for example public hospitals
- non-associated persons – people or businesses you are not associated with (1)
(1) The tax relief doesn’t apply to donations to family or businesses you have some control or ownership over. There is one more catch: You need to be able to show you have a business reason for the donations. The recommended approach is to frame the donation so it’s for marketing purposes to increase your customer loyalty and brand awareness.
Please get in touch if you’re unsure about your donations and we’ll help you find the best option.
Dairy NZ have put together a number of resources for Dairy Farmers. This includes dealing with stock deaths, lameness, mastitis and milking delays among others. If you’re a dairy farmer, we highly recommend taking a look:
Many of the resources are laid out as visual “Decision Trees”, like the one for flood effected farms linked below: