Drought declaration unlocks support for some North Island farmers, growers

Drought support is being extended into the North Island by the government as farmers struggle with dry conditions.

Northland, Taranaki, Horizons and Greater Wellington regions including the Wairarapa join parts of the South Island now in drought.

The drought declaration unlocks tax relief for farmers and up to $80,000 for rural support trusts in the affected regions.

Minister for Rural Communities Mark Patterson said some farm dams were starting to dry up and winter supplementary feed was already being fed to livestock.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been working with sector groups, regional bodies, and farmers to prepare for El Niño since its arrival last year and continue to monitor the situation to determine where additional support is needed.

“MPI will continue to work closely with local rural advisory groups, drought committees and rural support trusts to determine if additional support is needed.”

Minister of Agriculture Todd McClay said the extremely dry and difficult conditions affecting communities across the North Island were not expected to improve in the short-term.

“The classification unlocks further support for farmers and growers, including tax relief, and it enables MSD to consider Rural Assistance Payments.”

He said farmers and growers who required support should call their local rural support trust on 0800 787 254.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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