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

 


Upper North Island dryness a concern

Upper North Island dryness a concern


Federated Farmers is increasingly anxious over soil moisture deficits in Waikato, south Auckland and the West Coast of Northland. In some areas, the effects are worse than last year’s record-breaking drought.

“We are keeping a very close eye on the next few weeks,” says James Houghton, Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president.

“We’re hoping to get some rain relief but the MetService’s Monthly Outlook doesn’t give me much hope.
“Farmers know summer means sunshine, heat and a lack of rain. We can cope with that, but what we can’t cope with is when autumn fails to deliver its essential dose of rain.

“While Canterbury and the Lower North Island are wet and windy it’s fairly dry where I am. In fact, the MetService is predicting that the first month of autumn will generally be drier than normal, especially for the north of the country.

“My heart hopes the weathermen have got it wrong though my brain tells me they are probably right,” Mr Houghton added.

Speaking on behalf of Northland farmers, Federated Farmers Northland provincial president, Roger Ludbrook, suggests whether a drought is declared or not, farmers can take actions that will help them.

“You don’t need an adverse event declaration before approaching Inland Revenue over things like income equalisation relief. It doesn’t excuse you, but they can show flexibility.

“Inland Revenue, on a case-by-case situation, will consider approaches from individual farmers who have been affected by adverse events without an event being formally declared by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

“For farmers, the main advantage of a declaration, if one does come, is practical and psychological.

“Psychologically there’s recognition you’re not on your own, but a declaration also means the Rural Support Trust can swing into gear with counselling and making available farm advisory services.

“At a regional and national policy level, Federated Farmers is pushing hard for regions to have water strategies because New Zealand doesn’t suffer from a water shortage issue, just a water storage one,” Mr Ludbrook added.

If a declaration is made it is not a path to public money, Federated Farmers stresses:

“In 2013, the worst drought in 70-years covered the South Island’s west coast and the entire North Island,” Mr Houghton continued.

“Yet even in those conditions only 146 applications for Rural Assistance Payments (RAP) were granted. Truth be known, a RAP is the unemployment benefit by another name, so you would have to lose almost everything to qualify.

“We shouldn’t be sitting back and waiting for the Government.

“Instead, talk to your neighbours about what you need then talk to us at Federated Farmers. Talk to your accountant and farm consultant too. Keep your bank up to speed and prioritise the welfare of your stock, your workers, your family and most of all, yourself.

“Give the Rural Support Trust a call if you need some extra support. There is no harm in raising the flag and saying you need help,” concluded Mr Houghton.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news