'We will help you, but don't expect a cheque': Ag Minister to West Coast farmers

The Minister of Agriculture has questioned figures being suggested as compensation for farmers affected by flooding on the West Coast.

Some farmers were hit hard by the recent floods that ripped through the region, damaging infrastructure and flooding paddocks.

Damien O'Connor, who is also Rural Communities Minister and MP for West Coast-Tasman, met with farmers on Friday.

He told Rural Today's Dominic George the Government has pledged to do what it can to help affected farmers, but there will be no big payout.

"I told them that the Government will help where we can, but I was honest, and said that no-one is going to write you out a cheque."

He said that he was surprised to hear suggestions of moving the township at a cost of $300 million.

"The councils have been down here and talked these big figures," he said.

"Quite frankly I don't know where they got their figures from, unless they have found a pot of gold."

He said local councils on the West Coast or central Government don't have the money to buy out landowners in flood prone areas.

O'Connor said that re-locating from the area as a big decision.

"It is something we would have to work through with the district and regional councils."

"The issue for farmers is whether they want to continue to spend money on a stop bank, and carry on with their farming operation."

Listen to the full interview with Damien O'Connor on Rural Today.

Rural Today with Dominic George airs weekdays 5:30-6am on Magic Talk.