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Government pledges $150k extra funding for residents affected by Tasman fire

The Government has pledged an extra $150,000 to help Tasman residents affected by the major fire still burning in the area that started last week.

The cash will help small businesses, animal welfare organisations, infrastructure and the primary sector.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the funding announcement today alongside Minister of Civil Defence Kris Faafoi and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.

Mr Faafoi said he will be seeking an additional $100,000 at Cabinet on Monday. 

The other $50,000 will be made available to the Rural Support Trust to help farmers and growers as further water restrictions are put in place in the region, taking the total to $100,000 for primary sector relief.

“We know that some local businesses are struggling ... so this funding will provide grants to support local businesses feeling the pain after their businesses have been restricted," Mr Faafoi said in a statement.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"We also recognise the outstanding work that’s been carried out to date by organisations providing care for animals and that this has been done voluntarily drawing on their own funds."

He says there's also a need to support those repairing infrastructure such as dams that were damaged during the fire response.

"It’s a necessary part of fighting the Nelson Tasman Fires that many fire-breaks have been cut through farms and other private land, in many cases causing significant damage to the land, Mr Faafoi says.

"The full cost of land remediation won’t be known for some time, but the Government recognises that there is an immediate need to provide financial support and certainty to landowners."

The fire now covers 2335 hectares and has a perimeter of 33.5km.

Residents of about 74 properties in Pigeon Valley South Road have been allowed to return home today on a conditional re-entry basis, which leaves about 138 properties and 370 people still evacuated.


 

Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS