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

Answers raise more questions

Taxpayers will fork out about half a million dollars a year to fund the new Primary Sector Council (PSC), the brainchild of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

Don’t meddle with Fonterra

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says a wide-ranging review of dairy industry legislation isn’t an attempt by the Government to force changes to Fonterra’s constitution.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Hello John

With the surprise resignation of John Wilson, the Fonterra board has promoted long-time director John Monaghan as its new chair.

Bye John

The Hound notes the contribution of former Fonterra chair ‘Little’ Johnny Wilson, who has stood down from the role due…

 
 

» Connect with Rural News