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Drought declared in Waikato

Scott Simpson
MP For Coromandel

Media Release
6 March 2013

Drought declared in Waikato

Coromandel MP Scott Simpson says he expects local farmers will be relieved that a state of drought has been officially declared in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty today by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.

“It’s been clear for a few weeks now that we are well beyond what is a normal dry summer, and into a serious climatic event. The entire region is extremely dry and our rural sector needs our support,” Mr Simpson said.

The declaration of a medium-scale event means that extra Government funding will now be available to local organisations like the Rural Support Trusts. In extreme cases there will also be Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) available to farmers in severe hardship.

“I know that farmers have already been taking practical steps to deal with the dry conditions, such as destocking and switching to once a day milking, but it’s important to plan ahead and to ask for help when needed.

“I really want to urge farmers to make use of the supports that are available now. I know our farmers are a resolute and determined bunch of people but please use everything that it available to you to ease the pressure during this tough time.

“I strongly encourage farmers to contact IRD if they need help or flexibility with making tax payments and remember standard assistance is available from Work and Income.”

The area covered by today’s drought declaration includes the Auckland Council area south of the Harbour Bridge, and all of the Waikato – including Coromandel, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako, as well as Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay Regional Council areas.

More information is available at http://www.mpi.govt.nz/environment-natural-resources/funding-programmes/primary-sector-recovery/droughts/dry-conditions-2012-13-faqs

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