Farmers say the Government's allocation of $1 million to help Tasman recover from the fire disaster is needed.

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today the Lottery Grants Board had agreed to allocate up to $1 million to the Tasman Mayoral Disaster Relief Fund.

Federated Farmers board member and fire spokesperson Karen Williams said the fire had been devastating for many and anything constructive the Government could do to help Tasman should be encouraged.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.


"We had staff and volunteers in the area soon after the fire broke out. Our people were doing what they could do in their power to help farmers and distribute feed to at risk farm animals.

"They were hearing stories from people who felt they had lost everything. People were crying and confiding their fears.

"People are in need and I hope the money can alleviate some of the emotional and financial pain many must be feeling. The rebuild will be long."

Martin, the Presiding Member of the Lottery Grants Board, said the contribution would help the Tasman community in its recovery effort from the devastating fires.

Tracey Martin. Photo / File
Tracey Martin. Photo / File

Martin, who is also the Minister responsible for Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), visited the fires in March and met with FENZ staff and others involved in the fire fighting and community support.

"What struck me was the scale of the devastation and the huge perimeter and earthworks required to try and contain it," she said.

"The Fire and Emergency Tasman-Marlborough Area Commander Grant Haywood said to me that he felt the organisation had a moral responsibility to help landowners who had been affected by the creation of the fire breaks.

"I agreed with him. Obviously stopping the fire was the priority at the time, but that doesn't mean that landowners should have to bear all of this damage and cost.


"What brought this position into even more perspective was seeing the damage done to a farm owned by one of the volunteer firefighters involved in battling the blaze."

The Department of Internal Affairs (which administers Lottery funding) would now work with the Tasman District Council on how the Lottery funding could be distributed for the benefit of the community impacted by the fires.

"The Government knows that more assistance may be required and will continue to talk to the community and look at options for assistance," the Minister said.