New national body to represent Rural Support Trusts

Minister Nathan Guy welcomes election of Rural Support Trust National Council

Published on Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has welcomed the election of a national body to represent all 14 Rural Support Trusts across the country.

“Rural Support Trusts do fantastic work supporting our rural communities in tough times, and this new central body will make them more efficient and effective,” says Mr Guy.

“It will provide single point of contact for other national organisations and the Government, and help the different regions share resources and experience.

“Rural Support Trusts operate independently in their areas, staffed by local people who really know their local communities.

“All Trusts have trained facilitators who can assist rural people with a range of issues. The facilitators are all local people who know the area and the farming or growing industries, and much of their work is helping sometimes isolated rural communities keep connected and build morale when the going is tough.

“The value of the Rural Support Trusts in times of adversity has been made very clear in the recent months with droughts across the country, the earthquake in Kaikoura, Marlborough and the Hurunui, and floods in the Bay of Plenty.

“The Trusts and National Council work closely with MPI, which provides partial funding along with their own fundraising work.”

In the last two years the Government has provided extra funding to Rural Support Trusts to improve access to mental health support in the rural community. Coordinators have been trained to recognise and manage signs of depression or extreme stress, and are connected to rural health professionals.

In its first meeting the National Council elected its first Chairperson, Waikato RST chair Neil Bateup, and Gavan Herlihy from Otago was appointed Vice Chairperson. The Rural Support National Council will be structured as a charitable trust responsible to the Trusts around the country.

About Rural Support Trusts

  • Rural Support Trusts provide free and confidential assistance to farmers and growers facing challenges; climate, financial or personal.  They are well-placed to point people in the right direction for further advice and help.
  • Some Rural Support Trusts have been around since the 1980s to provide support on hardship or assistance in adverse events, such as the Otago RST. Others, like Taranaki, have been set up out of Federated Farmers. A number of Trusts, such as Northland, were formed or strengthened with (then) MAF’s assistance after the On-Farm Adverse Events Recovery Framework came into effect in 2007.
  • For further information on the Trusts visit: http://www.rural-support.org.nz/.
  • Call 0800 RURAL HELP - for a confidential chat about you, your business, the weather, your finances; or a neighbour, partner, friend, family member, or worker. 

Read the full release from Minister Guy here.

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Author: Terri Anderson

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News & Alerts

Drought tax relief measures

Tax relief and support measures extended to farmers in medium-scale drought areas

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/tax-relief-drought-affected-farmers

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/further-support-struggling-farmers.

 

Detail of what may be available can be found on the Work and Income drought page: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/rural-assistance-lower-north-island-and-west-coast-drought-2018.html including Rural Assistance Payments.

Please share this information and encourage farmers in affected areas to talk to their accountants and advisors.

Share with your rural professional contacts so they are aware of the current challenges due to poor spring and dry early summer. Farmers and families may benefit from help revising their budgets. Some who are badly affected - particularly lower-order sharemilkers and contract milkers - may be eligible for entitlements such as Working for Families https://www.workingforfamilies.govt.nz/ so your help to make their accountants / advisors aware is appreciated.

Your local Rural Support Trust is available and Federated Farmers' Feedline is open to both memb ers and non-members: https://www.fedfarm.org.nz/FFPublic/Adverse_Events_Farmer_Support_and_Feedline.aspx

MPI, DairyNZ and B+L NZ also have good information for getting through droughts and dry weather.

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Protecting your farm from Mycoplasma bovis in drought-affected areas

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

With a number of farms in drought-affected areas, there is concern about the movement of animals for grazing or getting in supplementary feed from other regions.

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https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/drought-classification-extends-grey-and-buller

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