10 May 2017

Kaikōura quake: Extra $5m for farmers, $1.2m for scientists

9:02 pm on 10 May 2017

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced a $5 million package to support farmers and growers with earthquake-damaged land.

Russ Van Dissen and Jamie Howarth take samples from a giant chasm created by the quake on a Ward farm.

Two researchers take samples from a giant chasm, created by November's 7.8 magnitude earthquake, on a Ward farm (file photo). Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

During a visit to North Canterbury today, Mr Guy said the 7.8 earthquake in November caused significant erosion and damage to land in the Kaikōura, Marlborough and Hurunui districts.

Mr Guy said the fund, which would be managed by his ministry, would help farmers, growers and foresters decide what to do with damaged land.

He said it would include funding for professional advice for land-use planning, and support projects that investigated options for long-term land use.

Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy on his way to Kaikōura on 10 May 2017.

Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy - pictured on his way to Kaikōura. Photo: Supplied / Pool

In his capacity as the new Civil Defence Minister, Mr Guy visited Kaikōura and was given an update on repairs to the badly damaged State Highway 1 north of the town.

The stretch of road, which is an important link between Picton and Christchurch, has been closed since the quake.

Mr Guy said the Transport Agency assured him repair work was on track.

The NZ Transport Agency has about 400 staff on site to repair SH1, Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy said on 10 May 2017.

About 400 staff were on site to repair SH1, Mr Guy said. Photo: Supplied / Pool

"They've got 400 staff here. They've on track to open it by Christmas this year, which will be incredibly exciting for this community and indeed for the South Island and the rest of New Zealand."

Extra $1.2m for scientists and researchers

Separately, the government would make an additional $1.2m available to support research into the earthquake itself.

About $2m had already been spent on urgent research, including aerial and marine surveys and support from GeoNet.

A further $3m had gone towards improving the monitoring of natural hazards.

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith said the extra money would allow further high-value research with long-term benefits.

Mr Goldsmith said that included examining buildings before they were demolished, and landslide assessments.

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