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27 February 2013
Farmers Welcome Drought Declaration
The adverse event declaration in Northland recognises Northland’s farms are in a bad way but that they are not alone.
Federated Farmers believes Northland will be followed by other regions in fairly quick succession.
“Practically speaking an adverse event declaration like this is not about handouts,” says Matt Long, Federated Farmers
Northland provincial president.
“What it means is that organisations like the Rural Support Trust Northland can now coordinate and deliver farm advisory
and counselling services. As this is a highly stressful time for farmers and their families, access to counselling
services is invaluable.
“Another thing the declaration triggers is flexibility from Inland Revenue. It is not about being excused obligations
but the ability to set up individual plans with it; plans that need to be organised through a farmer’s agent or
“While there are benefits called Rural Assistance Payments or RAP’s I have to be brutally honest and say that very few
farmers will quality. These are for absolute hardship and the last time there was drought here less than 16 farmers out
of several thousand received them.
“I would say that support from the likes of MSD and Inland Revenue might also be good for farm workers and their
families as the financial effects of drought cascades through our communities.
“Federated Farmers will of course activate our 0800 DROUGHT (0800 376 844) feed line. We will also be developing formal
and informal initiatives for farmers, their staff and their families.
“We further recommend that farmers speak to their bank’s rural manager. This declaration confirms how bad things are and
by keeping your bank fully informed they will work with you.
“What I want farmers to know is that they are not alone,” Mr Long concluded.
Advice and guidance
A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) advice note on drought is available here
while MPI drought publications are available here
The Rural Support Trust Northland is available here
Beef+Lamb NZ drought advice is available here
DairyNZ drought advice is available here
Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) Advice Note “Response of Maize to Drought Stress” is available here