Government supports flood-stricken Westport as it announces scheme to help farmers with clean-up

The Government is giving flood-stricken West Coast farmers more support by activating Taskforce Green - a $500,000 scheme where farmers can access a workforce to help with their clean-up. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also promised more help for schools and to work with the local council to improve resilience on the coast. 

Bridges have gone, roads are still closed and farmland is a mess. 

"We're really under the pump, it's been multiple blows on our resources," Buller District Mayor Jamie Cleine says.

During her visit to a badly-hit area, the Prime Minister announced $500,000 extra support for the flood-ravaged West Coast.

"Rural areas and farmland has been really hit hard with this weather event so making sure there's support in place for that clean-up will be important," Ardern said.

Enhanced Taskforce Green has been activated - it will provide farmers with more hands to get more done quicker.

"It's hard yakka, it needs a lot of people and enhanced Taskforce Green is the way to do it," West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor said.

The Prime Minister met with a family who had to be rescued from their farm by helicopter as floodwaters rose around them. 

They have 400 cows and now a huge clean-up has been added to their workload. 

The Government also announced a two-phase plan.

"Working alongside local council for the immediate remedial work that needs to take place and then the longer-term questions of how do we build greater resilience against future weather events," Ardern said.

After having two back-to-back floods, and similar major flooding just seven months ago, locals are at their wits' end.

"We actually need some action, it's been seven months since July," one resident said.

Also on high alert were local protesters.

"My body my choice," one said.

"I choose not to focus on what is often a small handful of people," Ardern said in response.

Instead, she is focusing on how to manage future flooding events.