Support for drought extends across the top of the South Island

Minister's media release 12 March

Published on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hon Damien O’Connor

Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Rural Communities

 

12 March 2019

MEDIA STATEMENT

Support for drought extends across the top of the South Island

 

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor announced today that the medium-scale event classification for the Tasman drought would be extended to cover Marlborough and Buller as well as Nelson.

“The lack of substantial rain means that the drought situation in Tasman’s neighbouring regions has reached the point beyond the rural community’s ability to continue farming or growing through it,” said Damien O’Connor in Golden Bay today.

“Our farmers and growers in parts of New Zealand are no strangers to hot dry summers, but the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell has taken their toll.

“Most notably, the water shortages and tough restrictions have meant that farmers have been needing to take serious destocking measures, and horticulturists are having to choose which crops to let die off and which to water.

“Farmers are already using more supplementary feed than they usually would and there are concerns about feed supplies going into winter.

“We’re listening and we know this is a challenging time so we are committed to doing all we can to help those affected. However, it is would be great to get some substantial rain in these areas.”

Last month $100,000 was allocated to the Top of the South Island Rural Support Trust to support farmers affected by the fires and drought. This has not yet been exhausted so there is still significant financial support available for those affected by drought in Nelson and Marlborough. A further $30,000 will be allocated to West Coast Rural Support Trust.

Minister O’Connor notes Federated Farmers has opened their feedline and put out extra requests to members to offer grazing in the area, given that water is a greater issue than feed.

The extra $30,000 will bolster recovery activities in affected rural areas including:

·         Local groups such as the Rural Support Trusts and industry organisations running information sessions, technical transfer activities, and other events to help support the rural communities.

·         One-to-one and group pastoral care and referrals from the Rural Support Trust

·         Coordination of help, resources and information for recovery.

Work and Income and Inland Revenue also have some recovery measures to help rural people get through drought and back to farming as usual when the weather allows.

“The Top of the South Rural Support Trust have been working closely with the Tasman District Council and other organisations like Beef + Lamb NZ, Dairy NZ, and Red Cross since the fire, and now their attentions are turning to drought in the broader areas including Buller,” said Damien O’Connor. 

“We are very grateful to have that local knowledge and energy helping the rural communities to get through drought and recovery.

“I would personally like to thank everyone who is donating and supporting our farmers in this challenging time.”

 

Contact: Leigh Coleman 022 015 3316

leigh.coleman@parliament.govt.nz

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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, Top of the South, West Coast

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News & Alerts

Post Quake Farming Newsletter

March 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson

Check out the latest news and upcoming workshops for the Post Quake Farming project,

March newsletter

 

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Support for drought extends across the top of the South Island

Minister's media release 12 March

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson
Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Agriculture
Minister for Rural Communities

12 March 2019
MEDIA STATEMENT
Support for drought extends across the top of the South Island
Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor announced today that the medium-scale event classification for the Tasman drought would be extended to cover Marlborough and Buller as well as Nelson.
 
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Nelson Tasman Drought

Update as at 14 March

Monday, February 11, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson

Water restrictions have been lifted in some areas.  Follow

https://www.tasman.govt.nz/my-council/about-us/media-centre/news-and-notices/water-restrictions-lifted-in-golden-bay-waimea-still-needs-to-conserve-water/

Animal welfare and human welfare advice

The focus is now on getting through drought.  A worksheet to help you make decisions can be found here.

- Flyer for livestock owners is here

- Flyer for horticulture is here

Not sure who to talk to? 

  • Call Tasman District Council on 03 543 8400 (24 hours) or call your local Trust.
  • For animal welfare call MPI on 0800 008 333 (option 4)                       

The Civil Defence response has now moved into transition.  To keep an eye on fires it's still good to check www.nelsontasmancivildefence.co.nz/news  or https://www.facebook.com/nelsontasmancivildefenceandemergencymanagement

Meantime the fire risk remains extreme. Stay prepared:

  • Have a plan in place that includes your animals. If you need to evacuate:
  • Take pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe place. Do not leave pets in cars.
  • If you need to leave animals at your property, make sure they have access to 2-3 days of food and water, are in a safe space (such as a paddock with little to no grass or near a waterway) and can move to avoid danger.
  • Consider opening gates within your property so that outdoor animals can move away from the fire. Do not open gates on to roads.
  • Remove any flammable or heat-sensitive gear from your animals while the fire risk is still high, especially those with polyester or metal on them like horse rugs and halters.
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Strategies for getting through the summer dry

March 2019

Monday, March 04, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson
Facing drought?  Want to hear what others have done to get through?

When the El Niño of 2015 - 2016 saw much of New Zealand facing prolonged dryness, Cheviot farmer Andy Fox came up with some tips.

In 2018 Southland experienced unusual dryness. Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Olivia Ross, along with the Muster's Andy Thompson came up with a radio series based on Andy's tips, called: "What did the Fox say?"

Listen to Andy Fox's Interview

Andy's Top 10 Tips

1)  Don't sleep in. If you are tired go to bed earlier and get up at the same time. One hour in the morning is worth two at night. Get out of bed and get going.

2) Do something for others. This can be one of the most satisfying things you can do when you are under stress.

3) Pick up dead stock straight away and dispose of them out of sight.

4) Life is never fair. Get used to it!

5) What people think of you is none of your business. So don't worry about it

6) Don't be scared of success or failure. There is always an element of risk in any business, especially farming. “Failure is the opportunity to try again with more knowledge” Henry Ford.

7) If you think you can, and if you think you can't your probably right. Ref Henry Ford. In other words, attitude and application are critical.

8) Look after your staff, yourself. Without health you have very little.

9) Set goals short and long term, plus ideas/methods on goal achievement.

10) Never miss an opportunity to praise someone for something good they have done. Worker, family member, truck driver.  It's just as much benefit to the giver as the receiver.

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