With very limited rainfall through the long, hot summer, drought has now been officially declared in Northland, North Auckland, South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay regions of New Zealand, by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy.
“This is recognition that farmers across the North Island are facing extremely difficult conditions. The declaration of a medium-scale event means that extra government funding will now be available to rural support trusts. These organisations work closely with farmers, providing support and guidance in what is a tough time,” Guy says.
Rural assistance payments are available through Work and Income, and others through the Ministry of Social Development.
The entire North Island is dry, says the Minister, and a close eye is being kept also on areas of the East Coast, as well as Wairarapa, Manawatu and Taranaki. “Farmers badly need some rainfall during March and April to help prepare for the winter and set up for next spring.”
Support is available from Government agencies in all regions, even without a drought declaration and banks are offering flexible finance options “in these tough times’ as well, Guy says.
The Ministry of Primary Industries has an excellent information page for all things drought. Read more ….