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Waikato drought declaration

6 March 2013

Waikato drought declaration

The Government’s formal declaration today of a drought in Waikato is a positive move for communities under stress, says Waikato Regional Council chairman Peter Buckley.

The move followed a request for a declaration last Friday by the multi-agency Waikato Regional Drought Committee.

Mr Buckley, a north Waikato dairy farmer who also chairs the drought committee, said the declaration and the assistance measures it ushers in are “very welcome, especially amongst farmers under more extreme stress because of the big dry.

“These are tough times for farmers and others in our region and I’m grateful to the Government for responding positively to the committee’s call.”

The Government says assistance goes mainly to the groups who are coordinating support for individuals and businesses, as well as providing for some direct help to families in extreme need.

“People who need the help being offered shouldn’t hold off putting their hand up,” said Mr Buckley.

“Also, I’d urge people in areas under stress to keep an eye out for each other and support each other through these tough times.”

Mr Buckley said the regional council would continue to monitor climatic conditions closely and work with other agencies on the drought committee on co-ordinated responses to the situation.

“Committee meetings will be held on an as required basis in response to developments.”

The council is encouraging consent holders to stick closely to the terms of their water use consents.

Also, farmers and others should follow the advice of their industry organisations over managing through droughts.

The Waikato Regional Council

The council’s area extends from the Bombay Hills in the north to Mt Ruapehu in the south, and from the mouth of the Waikato River to Mokau on the west coast, across to the Coromandel Peninsula on the east.

The region contains nationally important electricity generation facilities, an internationally significant dairy sector and iconic natural features, such as Lake Taupo, which are key tourist attractions.

The council has three key strategic goals:
• The values of land and water resources are sustained across the region
• The people of the region collaborate to achieve a shared vision of the Waikato competing globally, caring locally
• The Waikato Regional Council meets its legislative co-governance requirements by working together in good faith and a spirit of co-operation

Our wide-ranging responsibilities include:
• sustainable management of natural and physical resources, including pest control.
• planning regional growth and transport, and providing bus services.
• civil defence, emergency response, navigation safety, dam safety, flood management, erosion control and road safety.

Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/waikatoregion


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