Wednesday, 10 January 2018 10:05

Drought declaration extended to South Island

Written by 
Droughts in two South Island districts have now been declared medium-scale adverse events.

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor has extended classification to the drought-hit Grey and Buller districts of the South Island’s West Coast.

These are the first South Island additions to the medium-scale event, which was announced for regions of the lower North Island just before Christmas.

“While last week’s rainstorm left parts of coastal New Zealand drenched, the famously wet West Coast has been struggling through an unusually hot, dry start to summer and missed out on the much-needed rain,” says O’Connor.

“We are keeping a watching brief on neighbouring areas, including Murchison, which have also missed out on the rain.

“On the back of an extremely wet winter that left many farmers unable to grow pasture or crops for spring, the early and unusual dry start to summer turned West Coast pastures from swamp to concrete.

“It was agreed that while farmers needed to plan for the worst, there was hope that the forecast rainstorms could break the drought before central government assistance became necessary. However, the Grey and Buller districts now meet the criteria for a medium-scale event.”

The classification gives the local Rural Support Trust and other recovery organisations a funding boost of up to $50,000 to help serve their communities, including organising local events and arranging recovery facilitators who work one-to-one with farmers. The classification lasts for six months unless things change substantially beforehand.

Other usual recovery measures, which may include tax flexibility and income assistance options, will be made available where appropriate.

 

More like this

DIRA review on the cards

Provisions to manage Fonterra’s dominant position in New Zealand’s dairy markets will not expire at the end of May.

Southern drought official

All Southland plus Otago’s Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Clutha districts are now declared officially in drought.

Speed up response, farmers tell Govt

Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says farmers have spoken up about the slowness of the response to the disease Mycoplasma bovis.

MPI escapes the knife

Labour has scotched its pre-election plans to split up MPI and create stand-alone entities for food safety and biosecurity.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Right fit

A mate of the Hound reckons suggestions that possibly NZ’s longest-serving public benefit bludger -- Deputy PM and Foreign Minister…

Two-faced

The Hound well remembers – like many of those in the primary sector – events of a couple of years…

 

» Connect with Rural News