Government refuses to refund truckies delivering Tasman farm aid

The Government is refusing to refund Road User Charges for truckies helping farmers in the aftermath of the Tasman fires.

The Nelson Fires Hay Convoy has been organising hundreds of bales of hay for fire-affected farms - and paying for it out of their own pockets.

Around 236 tonnes of donated hay has come up from Canterbury over the past seven days and without it, farmers say they would be stuffed.

Trucking companies, farmers, drivers have all donated time, money and hay to enough feed to Nelson - and it doesn't come cheap.

The running costs for a week's worth of transportation is estimated at up to $100,000. And there is still weeks' worth more needed.

National wants companies taking part to have their Road User Charges refunded as an act of goodwill.

The Opposition believes around $18,000-worth of charges have been clocked up from companies volunteering help.

"It's a really small cost for the Government in what is essentially foregone revenue to them, but it would mean a lot to the guys undertaking what is essentially a mercy mission," says MP Andrew Falloon.

"In many cases these guys are donating many hours, a lot of money in petrol costs and having trucks off the road - so it's an important initiative for these guys."

Organiser Paule Crawford says it would make a huge difference.

"Going forward, a system like that over the next three- to four-month period, feedback from the farmers is that would really help," she says.

But Transport Minister Phil Twyford says this isn't possible, and the Government has already injected $100,000 to help with relief.

Mr Twyford says people can instead apply for hardship support through the Ministry of Primary Industries, Work and Income or the Mayoral Relief Fund.