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New Zealand helping farmers hit by flooding

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Staff Writer | March 17, 2017
Revenue Minister Judith Collins welcomed New Zealand Inland Revenue’s decision to exercise discretions on income equalisation for farmers who are significantly affected by the recent flooding around the Franklin Ward, Hauraki District and Thames- Coromandel District.
New Zealand flooding
Bad weather   The three year project will begin in July 2017
The Government has announced that extra funding is being made available to help farmers affected by the heavy weather of last week.

Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, has today officially classified the storm damage around the Coromandel, Hauraki District and Franklin Ward as a medium-scale adverse event.

“The damage here is significant and the recovery phase will be a challenge for some badly affected farms,” says Mr Guy, who visited a storm-damaged farm at Kawakawa Bay.

“The impact of the Tasman Tempest storm brought heavy rainfall ranging from 350 to 850mm, and is estimated to have been a one-in-80-year event.

“This step will help provide relief for those famers by giving them an option to help address the financial consequences of the flooding,” Collins says.

The income equalisation scheme allows farmers to better manage peaks and troughs in their income by allowing money to be put aside from a better year and withdrawn against a less favourable year.

Inland Revenue has decided to relax the rules for farmers who are significantly affected to allow late deposits from the 2016 income tax year to be made up to 30 April 2017, regardless of when the 2016 tax return is filed or the due date for filing that return. Also early refunds will be allowed.

“I have every sympathy for affected farmers. They should consult their accountants to consider whether this relief will be helpful in their particular situation,” Ms Collins says.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed two new investments in smart irrigation projects in the latest Sustainable Farming Fund round.

The first project, led by Irrigation New Zealand, will receive $294,000 to identify the benefits of irrigation good management practice and barriers to uptake.

The results of this will then be used in strategies to overcome these barriers and improve practices.

“Better use of irrigation has economic and environmental benefits for farmers and wider communities, and this project will help drive that,” says Guy.

The three year project will begin in July 2017 and will have a national focus.