Hon David Carter
Minister of Agriculture
11 December 2008
Government monitoring dry conditions
The Government is keeping a close eye on dry weather conditions in parts of the country and will consider drought
assistance for farming communities if required, says Agriculture Minister David Carter.
“I would like to reassure farming communities that the Government is closely monitoring the dry conditions and I have
instructed officials to provide me with regular updates.
“The economic impact of a drought is not just felt by farmers, but by all New Zealanders. From my experience, the advice
I would give to farmers is to review their farm management practices and be prepared to act early.
“The eastern coasts of both islands are very dry, with Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, coastal Marlborough, north-mid Canterbury,
and Otago rapidly approaching drought status. Other areas that are also relatively dry include the Waikato, Bay of
Plenty, Wairarapa, and Manawatu.
“I am especially aware that many farmers are still recovering from the last drought, and have been working hard to build
feed reserves, restock their farms and improve stock conditions.
“The financial and social stress of another drought on these farmers would be considerable. The Ministry of Agriculture
and Forestry is monitoring the situation closely.
“At the Rural Support Trust annual meeting in Wellington last month I confirmed the continuation of funding for the
trusts for their important work with rural communities around adverse events like droughts.
“These trusts play an important role in providing advice. I encourage farmers to consult their local trust for
information, support and advice. There is a network of 14 trusts covering all regions.
“The Government is committed to doing all it can to support our rural communities.”