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Hawke's Bay Drought Relief Fund register

This page allows you to register your interest in the Hawke's Bay Drought Relief Fund.

Drought Relief Financial Support

This page allows you to apply for the Hawke’s Bay Drought Relief Fund.

The four mayors and Regional Council chairman have launched a Hawke’s Bay Drought Relief Fund in response to the critical shortage of feed, as a result of the severe and prolonged drought in the region.

The lead agency for the Hawke's Bay community response for the drought, the Rural Advisory Group (RAG) will administer the applications to the fund held in Trust by the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust. Local Government has made it clear from the outset that the funds raised will only support the cost of transportation of feed to the region, not the cost of feed purchased (this would exhaust the fund in a very short time and not support many farmers)

To date, the fund has accrued $1 million including contributions from Government ($500k), Regional Council ($200k), Central Hawke’s Bay District Council ($50k), Centralines ($50k), and Hastings District Council ($200k).

Given the urgency of the feed requirement, the application process will be managed as a high trust model of targeted assistance. People will apply through an online form on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website and must declare they are a position of need, and have a feed budget that confirms this.

  • Simple process.
  • To support as many people as possible through this winter by helping keep stock alive and people’s businesses afloat.
  • To operate a high trust model.
  • Nobody falls through the cracks. As many people in need as possible to access the funding support.
  • Funding process to be as transparent as possible.
  • Urgent need to distribute the funds.
  • We will do our best with the funds available to support the farming community however we cannot cater for every situation.
  • One off payment
  • This is not to cover the costs of transport for donated feed
  • Applicants have to apply for funds via an online form on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website
  • Alternative methods of contact to be made available, such as a local phone number
  • Applicants need to tick a box to confirm that they have a feed plan/budget and that this has informed the feed requirements being supported by their application. This information is auditable and must be supplied if asked for at a later date.
  • Applicants will provide their bank deposit slip and the invoice from the supplier (they must have the same name on the invoice and bank deposit slip, and the invoice must have the transport cost separated from the feed cost) and receive an automated email to confirm their eligibility.
  • The applicants will then be reimbursed as soon as possible for the transport cost – up to the maximum amount agreed according to the size of their land
  • Regional Council data indicates 3,000 of farms in the drought affected area of Central Hawke’s Bay and outlying areas of Hastings. We have made a conservative assessment that 50% of those farms will need support.
  • A farm trading entity can apply for the support up to the indicated maximums below:
  • We have split the farms into three categories to manage the feed requirements
  • Greater than 150 ha (eligible for a maximum of $1,350)
  • Between 20 ha – 150 ha (eligible for a maximum of $400)
  • Less than20 ha (This funding will be administered directly to support transport operators for feed supplies for this lifestyle market).
  • People can claim funding support from the date of 19 May 2020 when the fund was formally launched
  • There is a reserve for the Rural Support Trust and previously committed transport costs

 

Why isn’t the fund retrospective to all farmers?

The fund is limited in the scope of assistance it can provide and therefore a model of targeted assistance to farmers with critical feed shortage problems and who are still in need of help is considered the most appropriate and effective use of the funds.  If the fund was retrospective, a cut- off date would still need to be applied and this could be seen to be unfair to those people who purchased bulk feed before this date. Also, some farmers made a call to destock rather than buy feed.

Doesn’t helping farmers who need feed now penalise farmers who made earlier decisions?

We realise that process may be seen to be unfair for people who have bought feed before 19 May, however we are trying to do the best with the funds available. The RAG commitment is to take everyone through the winter and as much of their stock as possible, and at this stage, the RAG has decided that it needs to target those most in need of support.

Why is there a different funding process for lifestyle/ smaller land holdings?

The RAG recognises that people on smaller land holdings also need support, and this extends from advice on feed and stock management through to funding. Landowners on lifestyle farming blocks are on a significantly smaller scale to commercial farms and are unlikely to buy feed in bulk form. We need a different solution for them.

Will more funds become available?

The RAG group is working hard to source more funds and this is being approached in a   number of ways.

A Give a Little page will be launched this Friday May 29 across the joint councils main communication channels, print media, and social media. We expect a strong contribution from the Hawke’s Bay community and wider, given the drought has received media attention. The funds from this appeal will be banked with the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust, the same fund that has received the mayoral funding. Currently, the Give a Little funding is earmarked for supporting transportation of feed, but depending on the amount received, it may be used for other drought assistance.

The RAG group are also seeking funds through the investment community of Hawke’s Bay

Given the demand from other drought affected regions for Government support, we need to present a new case to Government in future.

Why haven’t the RAG bulk funded transport of feed into Hawke’s Bay?

It is better for individual farmers to make a decision on the quantity and quality of feed and where to best to source feed. This allows for a farmer to use their own network to buy a supplement that suits them. This enables a far more rapid response to a farmer’s particular need based on their stock and feed requirements. The RAG is wary of creating a distortion in the feed marketplace.

If farmers have received donated feed, can they apply for the fund?

No. The fund is not intended to cover the cost of transport for donated feed, and it creates a situation of inequity if this was the case.

Why aren’t farmers getting a rates rebate?

Not all farmers are ratepayers.  

Does the reimbursement include GST?

Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust who is administering the Drought Relief Fund is not registered for GST. The grant to reimburse transport costs is not subject to GST. Reimbursement will be for the GST exclusive value.

Is the grant subject to income tax?

As this is a donation from the Hawke’s Bay Disaster Relief Trust this should not be treated as taxable income however you should seek your own tax advice if you have any questions.

 

 

 

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