The Government is backing Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers affected by severe weather events in the North Island with at least $2.4 million in funding for the 2023-24 financial year. Rural Communities Minister Keiran McAnulty says the multiple weather events, including Cyclone Gabrielle, have caused unprecedented devastation and flooding across the North Island and the Rural Support Trust has stepped up to provide critical response and recovery services to affected farmers, growers, and rural communities. He says with ongoing and increased demand for wellbeing support the 14 regional trusts which deliver free and confidential assistance will get a total package included $517,000 in baseline funding and an additional $1.9 million to support recovery efforts from the North Island weather events.