The Government should to act quickly to help restore the land of property owners damaged by emergency workers fighting the Nelson fires, National MPs Stuart Smith and Maureen Pugh say.
“Nobody is questioning the work of emergency workers who did a fantastic job responding to the fires," National List MP for West Coast-Tasman Maureen Pugh says.
"The issue is that land is uninsurable, which means landowners are having to cover the costs themselves to restore land and infrastructure damaged by emergency services creating firebreaks.
"The firebreaks created by FENZ were done not just to benefit the landowners, but to preserve all property and life in the immediate area, which means the Government should step in to provide extra support for these people who sacrificed their property for the greater good of the community,” Ms Pugh says.
“Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi has acknowledged the significant damage to the land. However, he should ensure more funds and support are provided to these landowners," National's Civil Defence Spokesperson Stuart Smith says
"Instead, he has suggested that landowners apply to the $360,000 Mayoral Disaster Relief Fund. This is despite Civil Defence Recovery Manager Richard Kirby assessing damage at over $2 million.
"These properties need to be restored before winter so that pasture can be restored and farming operations can continue. Otherwise, landowners will be losing more than just the costs of repairing the land,” Mr Smith says.
“National strongly believes the Government should act quickly to put this right while there is still time to minimise the losses to these members of the community and let them get back on with their lives," the MPs concluded.