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

 


Council and partners watching dry weather closely

Council and partners watching dry weather closely

As very dry, drought-like conditions continue throughout parts of the Waikato and South Auckland, Waikato Regional Council and stakeholders are stepping up discussions on how they might work together if the situation carries on.

Features of this summer’s big dry in the Waikato include:

· This January and February combined had the seventh lowest rainfall total for those two months at Ruakura since records began in 1907. It was only 32 per cent of normal

· Some rivers and streams are at or near record low flows for this time of year

· Warm temperatures and stronger winds are drying out soils

· Water use and fire restrictions are in place.

“This lack of rain means we are monitoring the situation very closely given the potential impacts on all sorts of activities, from farming through to irrigators and urban water supplies,” said regional council chairperson Paula Southgate.

“Council officials have been in contact with officials in other agencies and organisations. And last week a group of stakeholders – including Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust – held an initial meeting so that we’re ready to ramp up our response if necessary. This could include reconvening the Waikato Regional Drought Committee.

“We’re seeing extremely dry conditions in many parts of our region and we collectively need to be ready to respond proactively if the situation worsens,” Ms Southgate said.

She said the advice she’d received was that conditions are dry or drier than last year generally but farmers are said to be coping OK at this stage.

The Rural Support Trust in Waikato is encouraging any farmers with problems or emerging problems to reach out for assistance. “While we haven’t received calls for help we’re aware of the potential for farmers to suffer stress if conditions continue to worsen,” said trust chairman Neil Bateup.

“We’d urge farmers to talk to their neighbours, and the likes of DairyNZ, Beef & Lamb, farm consultants, accountants, banks and the trust.
“Also farm owners should check with managers, contractors and staff to ensure contingency plans are in place to deal with a potential ongoing dry period.” The trust’s area of responsibility includes Waikato and South Auckland.

Waikato Federated Farmers president James Houghton said: “Farmers are finding it tough in many parts due to scorched pastures but plenty of feed availability and good dairy herd management is helping them cope. A continuing proactive approach will help lower stress levels if the drought-like conditions carry on.”

At this stage the Government hasn’t been approached for a formal adverse event declaration that would provide for recovery assistance to farmers who needed it. That’s due to factors like a great spring and good levels of feed supplements being made, feed and grazing being available generally, and farmers reportedly doing a good job of managing the situation.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Plain Packs Plan: Gordon Campbell On Tobacco Politicking (And The TPP Death Watch)

Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. More>>

ALSO:

.


RECENT TPP MEETING:

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post Cab Presser: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy

Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>

ALSO:

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news