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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Joint outreach teams visiting valleys this weekend in fire and drought-hit Tasman.

media release 1 March 2019

Friday, March 01, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson

The first convoy of Red Cross trucks brought sighs of relief to many, as they went door to door in Pigeon Valley last weekend.

Now that the cordons have been lifted and people in the other fire-affected valleys have returned home, the outreach teams are working their way up the remaining valleys.

“Our volunteers are giving people about seven days to settle back down in their homes before we visit,” says Recovery Manager Richard Kirby.  “So over the next few days we are working our way through Teapot Valley, Eves, Redwood Valley, Greenacres, Malling, and Golden Hills.”

Volunteering on behalf of the Tasman District Council, the outreach teams are a collaboration between local Rural Support Trusts, Red Cross and MPI. They are carrying out a needs assessment to identify how each household is faring and what support they might need over the coming weeks.

Water supplies and worsening drought are on everyone’s minds,” says Richard.  “Our teams are armed with the latest information from the Tasman District Council about water restrictions and options.”

The teams leave information packs with residents or in their mailboxes if they aren’t home. Otherwise they take down all the information to share with other agencies and ensure everyone has what they need to support their recovery.

“It’s a real joint effort. We’re using Red Cross iPads with MPI software, CDEM questions, police and council maps, and of course we are able to access the areas because of the amazing work the firefighters have been doing.”

The Rural Support Trust, usually focused on farmers and growers, are visiting larger farms with information about drought management for their animals and crops.

“The unpredictability of when it might rain is on everyone’s mind, and smaller owners of livestock with less experience in this kind of weather event are also finding the farm, feed and animal welfare information handy,” says Barbara Stuart, Coordinator for the Rural Support Trust.  “It does mean that we are having some tough conversations about destocking, but we are here to help people with their options.

“It’s not easy for people who are still on alert for further fires, but we are all here to help these strong communities get through.”

For more information on water contact TDC: 24-hours: 03 543-8400 info@tasman.govt.nz https://www.tasman.govt.nz/

People with livestock in need of being moved for grazing, or needing extra feed, can contact Federated Farmers feedline by filling in the form on:

https://www.fedfarm.org.nz/FFPublic/Adverse_Events_Farmer_Support_and_Feedline.aspx, or calling 0800 327 646, option 2. You don’t need to be a Feds member to use this service – it is open to anyone whose ability to feed their livestock is affected by fire and/or drought in the Tasman.

If you have grazing near the area and sufficient water for some stock, please consider offering it on the feedline webpage also.

Animal welfare concerns:

For sick or injured animals talk to your vet.

For more information about f

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News & Alerts

Cyclone Season

What to do in case of severe rain/storm

Monday, December 24, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

Before severe rain

· Keep an eye on weather reports and enact your plans for moving stock and supplementary feed to higher ground if needed.

· Clear gutters and drains where possible

· Have to hand a smartphone, a charger for the car, a torch, and a battery-powered radio

· Check your insurance cover details

 

During a flood or storm

· Keep an eye on https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/ and your regional council websites/facebook or radio station

· The safety of you, your family, and workers comes first.

· Move stock to safety, shelter and water and make sure they can't wander. Are the electric fences working?

· Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities as it can help prevent damage to your home or community. Unplug small appliances to avoid damage from power surges.

· Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless essential.

· Check power and phones. Report outages.

· Check dogs, poultry and pets.

· Check on neighbours - do they need help or can they help you?

· Check buildings at risk, feed stacks. · Use generators if necessary to keep pumps, refrigeration, electric fences and household appliances running. Flood pumps may need attention. 

 

Further information:

https://www.dairynz.co.nz/business/adverse-events/flood/

https://beeflambnz.com/news-views/topics/flooding

MPI Animal welfare 

 

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Updates on the Mycoplasma bovis eradication

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

For weekly updates to your email sign up to MPI's stakeholder update. It is for you, your farmers, and anyone interested in the eradication of Mycoplasma bovisSign up here and please get all your networks of farmers and rural professionals to do so too.  


 

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John Shackleton: Manage stress

A presentation in Taranaki - watch the video!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

https://www.facebook.com/centraltaranakisafecommunitytrust/videos/2296467993701776/

John Shackleton events in Stratford yesterday encouraged the audience to consider mindfulness (it's not scary) and breathing meditations to enable thoughts to be current and now. Our wiring needs to be changed so we stop thinking about things we have NO CONTROL over such as guilt over past events or anxiety about the future. After 21 days you will notice a big improvement in wellbeing. 

 

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Lock it in with Sam

Sam Whitelock promotes the 5 Ways to Wellbeing... Southland Rural Support Trust agrees

Friday, June 29, 2018

Author: LindsayWright

Southland Rural Support Trust backs Sam Whitelock with all 5 Ways to Wellbeing

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Gisborne flooding a medium scale event

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

Flooding damage around the Tolaga Bay area of Gisborne meets the criteria for a medium scale event, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor and Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced today.

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Rural Recovery BBQ's - 1 year on

Take a break and come enjoy a BBQ on us

Friday, May 11, 2018

Author: JodieCraig


 

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Post-flood advice for rural people **update on bore water**

Bay of Plenty 5 May

Friday, May 04, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

 

Download this sheet for details on taking care of yourself, your family, your animals and your business.

Update from Rotorua Lakes Council: Rural properties on bore water

Septic tanks are a potential source of faecal contamination to flood waters and it is possible for surface water to travel down the outer casing of a bore into groundwater.

If your drinking water supply is from a bore and there was flood water around the borehead, then there is a risk that your bore water might be contaminated. If this is the case then please boil your water before drinking and have your water tested to confirm whether your water supply is safe.  

Rotorua Lakes Council's laboratory can test your drinking water to determine the presence of Ecoli, which is an indicator of faecal contamination, free of charge to those affected by the storm. To arrange a sample, collect a bottle from the lab at the Wastewater Treatment Plant off Te Ngae Road or contact Council on 07 348 4199 for more information.

http://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/our-services/CDrecoveryproject/Pages/Rural-areas.aspx 

Other useful contacts and information

Rotorua Lakes Council helpline: 0800 020 001

 Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254

 Ministry for Primary: Industries (Animal Welfare): 0800 00 83 33

 Rotorua SPCA: 07 349 2995

 EQC: https://www.eqc.govt.nz/about-eqc/our-publications/factsheets/storm-damage.

 Your insurer, bank, advisors and accountant.

 Bay of Plenty Regional Council: 0800 884 880: www.boprc.govt.nz

 Waikato Regional Council:0800 800 401: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz

 DairyNZ: 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969)

 Fonterra for milk collection issues / special collection arrangement 0800 656568

 Federated Farmers: 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

 

IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 111

 

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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?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

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?

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.  

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Dry summer support

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Author: Marcia

The NIWA drought index measures dry conditions across the country. Their hotspot watch helps identify areas that are getting dry each week.

Like all adverse events, a drought is classified as either localised, medium-scale or large-scale.

What farmers need to do now

Don’t hold out for rain as a reason to delay any decisions you need to make. Make plans and decisions in light of current conditions and warm temperatures driving high evapotranspiration. It will take significant rainfall to slow down or reverse the dry conditions. 

That it is so dry so early in the season may further limit your options, or create uncertainty, such as decisions on which animals to sell or cull.

In many locations stock feed in the form of hay and silage is lower than normal due to the wet winter and spring. You need to understand your local situation and factor these delays in your planning.

Tips from farmers who have managed their way through past dry spells:

  •  Review the technical information from your industry bodies on managing in dry weather.
  • Do a feed budget.
  • Make a plan and set trigger points to make decisions or take action: Dates, stock condition, feed availability; Once a day milking, drying off, culling early.  Ensure relevant contract partners agree with the plan. When those points or times hit, enact your plan.
  • Keep an eye on climate predictions and soil moisture levels, especially on your own farm as it can vary from your neighbours’. (NIWA is useful).
  • Use water efficiently and plan for water restrictions. Check irrigation consents for any triggers that will require you to make changes to usage.
  • Ensure bores are well maintained and make contingency plans in case supply fails.
  • Look after your animals and regularly check their condition.
  • Make decisions for slaughter well in advance and book space in time (since killing space may be in high demand in your area)
  • Be vigilant on very hot days. Animals cannot be left for much time with no shade or access to water.
  • Be aware of increased risk of fire and take precautions
  • Talk to your bank, accountants and other advisors, seek their advice, and ask for help if you need it.        
  • Your Rural Support Trust is here to help. If you need to get pointed in the right direction for advice or information, are concerned about a friend, a neighbour, a worker…. or just need a private chat, their services are free & confidential. Call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit www.rural-support.org.nz.

This document will give you some tips and tricks for mitigating the dry hot summer conditions.

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Leptospirosis awareness

increase in animals in the Bay of Plenty

Monday, November 13, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

There has been an increase in leptospirosis bacteria in domestic animals and livestock in the Bay of Plenty. This is not uncommon in areas that have been flooded, and have damp soil or stagnant water.

Leptospirosis is easy to catch from an infected animal and where it lives.

For further information on leptospirosis talk to your vet or search safer farms lepto  http://saferfarms.org.nz/guides/prevention-and-control-of-leptospirosis/

 

 

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