Rural sector support following Kaikoura earthquake

Information about financial and other assistance if you and your family live in a rural area and are affected by this earthquake.

There is a range of financial assistance available through Work and Income for people who live rurally (farming and non-farming) whose incomes have been affected by the earthquake.

  • Rural Assistance Payments

    Rural Assistance Payments are available from 23 November 2016 to eligible farmers whose income is affected by the earthquake in the following regions:

    • Marlborough District
    • Kaikoura District
    • Hurunui District

    Your local Rural Support Trust coordinator can provide more information about what you may be eligible for and help you with the application process. You can contact the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

  • Other help from us

    Farm workers, rural contractors and others whose incomes are affected by the earthquake aren't covered by Rural Assistance Payments but may qualify for other assistance.

    We offer a range of other assistance, including one-off grants and regular payments as well as benefits.

    If you're unable to meet your basic living costs or need something and you can't afford to pay for it now, talk to us as we may be able to help you. Everyone's situation is different, so what you may qualify for depends on your situation.

    There are some conditions so talk with us about your circumstances, and we'll work out the best way to help you.

    How to get help

    You can either:

    • contact your local Rural Assistance Payment Coordinator
    • contact us
  • Help from other organisations

    Rural Support Trusts

    Rural Support Trusts provide information and support to the rural community in times of hardship or in adverse events such as a drought, flood, or a biosecurity incursion.

    You can contact your local Rural Support Trust coordinator for a free and confidential conversation about assistance and support on 0800 787 254 0800 RURAL HELP) or visit:

    Ministry for Primary Industries

    The Ministry for Primary Industries co-ordinates the Government's response to adverse events affecting farms. They monitor conditions throughout New Zealand on a regular basis, and advise Government accordingly. Information about the current earthquake and recovery assistance measures can be found at:

    Inland Revenue

    Tax relief and income assistance may be available to farmers affected by the earthquake – it will depend on your personal circumstances. If you are concerned about tax payments, changes in income or refunds, contact your tax agent or you can call Inland Revenue's emergency helpline on 0800 473 566 or visit:


    ACC is keen to work with individuals and understand any concerns they may have about levy related matters as a result of an adverse event. Please contact our Business Service Centre on 0800 222 776 .

  • Other government help for primary sector

    • Extra funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide a range of ongoing psychosocial and other assistance such as helping with applications for funding, coordination of animal welfare and recovery workshops.
    • Mobilising skilled primary industry students and farmers is funding to assist primary industry students and workers to help with farm recovery work.
    • Mayoral Disaster Rural Relief fund is allocated locally (Kaikoura District Council) to help with non-insurable assets such tracks, on-farm bridges and water infrastructure.
    • Rural Recovery Coordinators in the Hurunui, Kaikoura and Marlborough districts to centralise decision-making across the primary sector.

    As well as standard Government support, primary producers can contact their local Rural Support Trust, run by local, trained people who offer free and confidential help and advice. Call them on 0800 RURAL HELP 0800 787 254 or visit to be put you in touch with the services you might need.