Hope could be on the horizon for growers facing the loss of their livelihoods following Cyclone Gabrielle. Cyclone Recovery Minister Grant Robertson says the government is in discussion with the horticulture sector about what it can do. Hawke’s Bay growers have aired frustrations about being left out of the cyclone recovery package that formed part of this year’s Budget. They put a proposal to the government in March asking for $750 million – despite calculating the total cost of their recovery was twice that. They say it will help pay for the initial clean-up, replant crops to generate cashflow and re-establish permanent orchards and vineyards that were decimated. Robertson said the government understood the pressures horticulturalists were facing. Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers Association president Brydon Nisbet welcomed the news some help could be on the cards – but said time was running out. He says growers are waiting for some surety so that they can make plans for their future.
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