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

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news