One of these things is not like the other

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Published on Friday, December 8, 2017

NIWA recently launched a NZ Drought Index https://niwa.co.nz/climate/information-and-resources/drought-monitor which is a really useful piece of the drought puzzle. It takes into account four different measures of dryness, which are combined and categorised as:

  • dry
  • very dry
  • extremely dry
  • drought
  • severe drought.

Dry spells and droughts are part of life for many farmers across New Zealand. Farmers monitor their local conditions, plan for dry weather, and make tough decisions early.

MPI doesn’t declare droughts, but help to identify if the impacts of a drought on the primary sector should be classified as a medium- or large-scale adverse event, under the criteria in the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.  That triggers extra government recovery assistance, such as additional funding for Rural Support Trusts to help their farming communities.

As well as the NZ Drought Index, MPI’s criteria includes:

  • options available for farmers to prepare for the event;
  • the likelihood and scale of the physical impact; and
  • the ability of the local community to cope socially and economically.

NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says, “It’s distinctly possible that much of the country will experience below normal rainfall through to the Christmas holiday period, and December temperatures are very likely to remain above average for all of New Zealand and the summer season as a whole.”

Check out your climate on NIWA's hotspot watch.

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News & Alerts

BOP Rural Connect - Getting through Drought & Covid-19 - Issue #9

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Author: JodieCraig
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Categories: National, Bay of Plenty

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Opinion: Keeping safe in rural COVID-19 lockdown

Friday, June 26, 2020

Author: WendyHurst
 
Working in a farming 'bubble' means extra vigilance against crime, said Miles Anderson
Working in a farming 'bubble' means extra vigilance against crime, said Miles Anderson Photo credit: Supplied

By Miles Anderson.

OPINION: Rural New Zealand can be a pretty quiet place at the best of times and for the next four weeks it will be even more so. Every community relies on its people to help each other and rural ones more than most. As a rule, we usually know what our neighbours are up to, the regular vehicles on our roads and help to keep an eye on things as we are going about our day-to-day business.  

The Covid-19 lock-down could change all of that. We will mostly be working alone to maintain our 'bubble'. No school runs or trips to town for sport, instead just once a fortnight trip for groceries and only the odd stock truck or tanker coming down the road. Many remote properties have set themselves up so they won't go out at all for the lock-down.  

Farming businesses are reduced to essential tasks and many are running a skeleton crew and reduced work programme. The usual farm visitors who help to keep an eye out are also absent - no one doing firewood, no roar hunters or duck shooters setting up for the season. This means even fewer people out and about than normal and some real opportunities for mischief. With longer nights and no one around, conditions are prime for those unique rural crimes - stock rustling, vehicle and fuel theft and poaching. 

 

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Categories: South Canterbury

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Cotter passionate about supporting farmers in need

https://www.odt.co.nz/rural-life/focus-on-farming/cotter-passionate-about-supporting-farmers-need

Friday, June 26, 2020

Author: Terri Anderson

Passionate about the rural sector and people’s welfare, Southland Rural Support Trust chairwoman Cathie Cotter says the best aspect of her role is being there for farmers.

 

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Categories: National, Southland

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Let's Catch Up - 1 July 2020

Pizza on the Plains

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Author: WandaLeadbeater

Join us and industry partners for a relaxed catch up at Ngatea Rugby & Sports Club

Got questions?

Want to find out about drought relief ?

Want to know what other assistance is available? 

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