Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor has announced the fast-growing drought in parts of the lower North Island would as a medium-scale adverse event.
The affected areas include Taranaki region and western parts of the Manawatu-Whanganui and Wellington regions.
“Yesterday, regional leaders in Taranaki asked for support for the primary sector. Announcing a medium-scale adverse event triggers additional Government support for farmers and growers in affected areas,” says Damien.
The community highlighted concerns about the welfare of Taranaki farmers and their livestock, due to a dwindling supply of supplementary feed on the back of a wet winter and spring.
The classification gives Rural Support Trusts a $160,000 funding boost to help serve their communities, such as organising local events, arranging recovery facilitators who work one-to-one with farmers, and recovery coordination to ensure everyone’s on the same page. This funding may be increased if needed.
Other usual recovery measures, which may include tax flexibility and income assistance options, will be made available as appropriate in the New Year.
The Ministry for Primary Industries will continue to monitor the conditions across other dry areas. Farmers and growers are urged to contact their Rural Support Trust for advice.
Damien will be in Taranaki visiting farmers today.