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Government Announces Drought Support For Canterbury And Otago

Hon Todd McClay

Minister of Agriculture

Hon Mark Patterson

Minister for Rural Communities

The Coalition Government is expanding the medium-scale adverse event classification in place for the Marlborough, Nelson, and Tasman districts to cover the Canterbury and Otago regions, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today.

“I have made this decision to unlock additional support for farmers and growers across the Canterbury and Otago regions as the intense dry spell persists and looks unlikely to improve in the short-term, Mr McClay says.

The classification unlocks further support for farmers and growers, including tax relief, and it enables MSD to consider Rural Assistance Payments.

“I met with farmers in South Marlborough earlier this week to see conditions on the ground first-hand. They told me the classification makes a difference, enabling them to access further support.”

“Up to $70,000 will be provided to Rural Support Trusts in North, Mid, and South Canterbury and Otago to facilitate community and one-on-one support for affected farmers and growers.

“It comes on top of the $20,000 allocated to Top of the South Rural Support Trust last month to ensure early support was available.

Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson has also visited the affected regions recently to meet with farmers, growers, and sector groups, and discuss the challenging weather conditions.

“The dry conditions have affected some fodder crop yields and farmers have already been feeding out winter supplementary feed to livestock,” Mr Patterson says.

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“Rain over the weekend in parts of Canterbury and Otago failed to deliver any significant relief to parched soils.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been working with sector groups, regional bodies, and farmers to prepare for El Niño since its arrival last year; and continue to monitor the situation to determine where additional support is needed.

Farmers and growers who require support are encouraged to contact their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.

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