The Government declared last night it was a “medium scale adverse event”, opening the way for funding of $100,000 through Rural Support Trusts to speed up recovery and provide technical advice.
Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor, who had flown over the affected areas, said the response to the flooding event had been “absolutely amazing”.
Southland Federated Farmers vice-president Bernadette Hunt agreed and described farmers as a resilient bunch.
“You get perspective really quickly when something like this happens. The first priority is human life, the second is stock life and after that everything else becomes incidental. We deal with whatever it brings.”
She said it was too early to know the full extent of the damage.
“A lot of work went in yesterday [Monday] to protect stock to minimise losses there … There were helicopters helping get cows across rivers and things like that.
She confirmed “some” lost stock but was unable to provide figures.
Otago Federated Farmers president Simon Davies said losses could be worrying.
“If the water hangs around for four or five days then it will be 100 per cent lost crops and the implications on winter feed will be hugely significant. But we just can’t quantify the loss of stock or crops at this stage.”