A package of support measures is to be made available to North Island kiwifruit growers affected by the Psa-V vine disease, Primary Industries Minister David Carter announced today.
Mr Carter has declared Psa a medium-scale biosecurity event under the Government's Primary Sector Recovery Policy, triggering further assistance for growers dealing with the impacts of the disease.
"The Government has worked closely with kiwifruit industry representatives to ensure that this declaration is timed to give maximum possible benefit to growers," says Mr Carter.
"Psa was first detected in New Zealand in November 2010 but there was a noticeable time lag before it began to affect orchard incomes."
In the early stages, the Government committed $25 million in a dollar-for-dollar partnership with the kiwifruit industry to assist with disease management.
"Psa has presented an unprecedented challenge for growers. Assistance is needed to cope with uncertainty, to introduce orchard management changes and to make the right business decisions," Mr Carter says.
The package of measures is:
Recovery co-ordinators to provide one-on-one recovery help to growers
Provision of care by local providers, focussed on grower welfare initiatives
Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) for growers suffering extreme hardship
Support with technology transfer and advice
Reimbursement, on a case-by-case basis, of costs incurred by volunteers
These measures are in addition to recovery measures already available to eligible affected growers through Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development, including flexible tax provisions and hardship assistance.