There is not going to be any significant feed grown in Hawkes Bay until spring, according to former special agriculture trade envoy Mike Petersen.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says the declaration recognises the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on the primary sector and additional support is needed.
“The lack of any substantial rainfall over the past few months means that the drought situation in the region has reached the point where assistance is needed to help the rural community get through.”
The declaration unlocks initial extra funding of $80,000 for the Waikato, Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust to help speed up the recovery of farming and horticultural businesses.
The Waikato, Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust region includesSouth Auckland (Manukau and Papakura) Hamilton, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Ōtorohanga, South Waikato, Taupo, Thames-Coromandel, Waikato, Waipa, and Waitomo
“Farmers in Waikato are no strangers to dry summers and they have had good grass silage on hand to date but the longer they go without rain, the harder it becomes to carry on as usual,” says O’Connor.
Today’s announcement follows adverse event classifications in Northland and North Auckland earlier this month where $80,000 was allocated to the Rural Support Trust to support affected farmers.