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Mayor Welcomes Drought Relief for Farmers

Mayor Welcomes Drought Relief for Farmers

Rodney’s inclusion in an extended drought zone comes as no surprise to Rodney District Council’s mayor Penny Webster.

She says Rodney is experiencing its longest spell of dry weather since 1994 and whilst the district’s water supply is not under immediate threat, farmers are feeling the economic impact.

A former farmer herself, Mrs Webster is relieved a drought declaration has been made as it will enable farmers to get tax assistance under the Income Stabilisation Scheme, farm management advice, welfare support and funding for the region’s Rural Support Trusts.

She says her council will also be working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Federated Farmers and the Northland Rural Support Trust to do what it can to lessen the impact on farmers.

Council staff had been instructed to use the council’s website to publish lists of support services for farmers and updates on drought and soil conditions for the district, she says.

Rodney’s towns are also affected by the drought. Mrs Webster says that there is no intent at this point to impose water restrictions in urban areas but dramatically low levels in the district’s waterways mean water conservation is essential.

Mrs Webster says he has authorised the immediate extension of a water conservation campaign for the district.

“We’re taking every measure we can,” she says. “But the ultimate solution is rain, a lot of it, and soon”

Farmers seeking aid or support can contact the Northland Rural Support Trust on 0800 778 667 or 09 430 0954. The Rodney District Council’s website for other drought information is www.rodney.govt.nz.


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