Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Drought Declaration Sought for Hawke’s Bay

Media Release

5 March 2013

Drought Declaration Sought for Hawke’s Bay

The Government is being asked to formally declare the Hawke’s Bay region as a drought zone, following a multi-agency meeting of rural representatives, councils and Ministry of Primary Industries at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in Napier today.

“We have been in a process for some weeks, monitoring the situation and meeting with key rural, bank and government interests, but in the last two weeks the dry situation has started to bite and there is no sign of rain relief in the near future,” says HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson.

In 2009-09 Hawke’s Bay drought, there was very little rain in March and April, and there is concern that the region is on the cusp of a similar situation. While many farmers are in a reasonable financial situation this season generally following two good summers, the current dry spell will adversely impact on next year.

“By requesting the Minister for a drought declaration, various assistance provisions can be triggered for farmers facing more severe hardship.”

“North of Napier is probably OK but south of Napier is pretty serious,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President and local farmer who spoke at the meeting.

“Hawke’s Bay is accustomed for this type of event, so most farmers have planned and are getting on reasonably well.

Hawke’s Bay rural representatives say that the situation is similar to 2008, although a dry spring and ample warning from NIWA means that many people are better prepared than last time. It is currently the driest 6 month period in Hawke’s Bay since 1950.

The more serious concern for Hawke’s Bay farmers is setting themselves up with enough feed to get through winter.

Farmers’ representatives have met with Craig Foss, MP for Tukituki and he wants to ensure Hawke’s Bay is getting support from the government.

The fruit industry is coping but water becomes short it will set in problems for next season.

The concern about farmers’ stress levels is widespread amongst the organisations at the meeting, and the East Coast Rural Support Trust is keeping an eye on people’s welfare.

“We want people to take care of themselves and each other, as there is plenty of support out there to help farmers get through this situation,” said Mike Barham, Hawke’s Bay coordinator, East Coast Rural Support.

Farmers are advised that many companies and agencies are willing to assist with financial arrangements if requested. Farmers can also approach the East Coast Rural Support Trust or their banks if they are facing hardship. They are also advised to follow the dry weather advice of their industry organisations, and other agencies -

• The East Coast Rural Support Trust can be contacted on 0800 787 254

• Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has advice notes on drought on www.mpi.govt.nz/environment-natural-resources/funding-programmes/primary-sector-recovery/droughts/dry-conditions-2012-13-faqs

• Beef+Lamb NZ dry management tool kit - www.beeflambnz.com/farm/tools-resources/dry-management-toolkit/DairyNZ

• Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) as advice note available - ”Response of Maize to Drought Stress” - www.far.org.nz/index.php/arable-update/entry/no-57-response-of-maize-to-drought-stress

• Federated Farmers offers an NZ wide 0800 DROUGHT line (0800 376 844)

Today’s meeting was attended by representatives from a wide range of organisations including the regional council, district councils, rural support trust, Ministry for Primary Industries, Dairy NZ, Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb and Ministry of Social Development. It was useful for information sharing.

An active drought committee is being formed. A formal request was made for a drought declaration and MPI representatives will be taking information from today’s meeting to brief the Minister.


Summary of the situation

Rainfall

Rainfall in any substantial quantities is not expected anytime soon. Last rainfall was on 5 February of around 10 mm.


Soil moisture

All soil moisture sites are recording very low.


Forecast

NIWA seasonal forecast March to May 2013

o Rainfall, near normal

o Temperature – near to above average

o Soil moisture – near to below normal

o River flows – near to below normal


River levels

Most river levels are low. With the lack of westerly systems, rivers are not getting the rainfall from the west that typically fall in the ranges and charge the rivers. Bans on irrigation takes are on main rivers. Tukituki, Awanui, Mohaka and Ngaruroro Rivers and the Irongate Stream are ranked at their lowest levels on records taken since 1988. Tutaekuri River is holding which is typical for the river.


Aquifer levels

With river levels down, the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha Aquifers are not being recharged, so there are


Irrigation

Irrigation bans are in force on all the main rivers. As a model, the Twyford user group was formed by local growers and has worked closely with HBRC to coordinate and share water in the Raupare to avoid the stream going on ban, and so far the regime is working.


Fire risk

High with complete fire bans in place in CHB, Hastings districts.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Glenn Greenwald Revelations

The problem with Key’s belated plea for trust – and with his claim that Kim Dotcom is the only person here disclosing information for political purposes – is that Key patently did not behave honestly last year when the GCSB legislation was being was going through Parliament.

For example: New Zealanders were never told that the GCSB was scoping out a system of mass surveillance, one that had got to the stage of power points and pdfs and a working relationship with the NSA to enable its implementation. Instead, Key was assuring us that a system of mass surveillance was not an issue, never had been etc etc And that the GCSB law change was merely a matter of tidying up the precious law.

Tonight we will see Greenwald’s evidence. Yet in terns of basic logic, Key’s claims appear implausible. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Perception: Study Looks At Trustworthiness And Support Of Politicians

A University of Canterbury marketing study has looked at what impact the Thatcher Effect has on perceptions of trustworthiness and liking of New Zealand politicians leading up to the 2014 general election. More>>

ALSO:

History Lessons: Jamie Whyte At ACT Campaign Opening

It is nearly 20 years since the ACT party was born. Many people no longer remember why it was named ACT. They may imagine that it was on account of our determination to actually do things in parliament rather than simply occupy the seats and collect the salaries. That’s true but it isn’t the right answer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news