The National Council

The National Council of Rural Support Trusts represents all the Rural Support Trusts in matters where a combined approach is more effective.

It came into being in mid 2017 and is structured as a charitable trust that is responsible to the 14 regional Trusts.

The National Council provides a single point of contact for other national organisations and the Government, and it helps the regional Trusts share resources and experience.

The National Council meets once a year.

The 14 Trusts still operate independently in their areas, staffed by local people.

MEMBERS

The Council members do a two-year term, with two positions coming up for election each year. Anyone who is a trustee of a Rural Support Trust can stand and the election is held during the biennial RST conference or in November of the alternate year. Each of the 14 Trusts places one vote.

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.
  • Government has recently 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.
  • 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. 

News & Alerts

School Colouring Competition

This one is for the kids!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Author: WandaLeadbeater

Download and print our colouring competition to be in to win - and a prize pack for your school. 

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Professional Farm Business Advice Fund

Monday, October 19, 2020

Author: ClaireFord

Feeling the pinch?

Finance plays an essential role in every business, including farming, growing or agri-business. Related to this are matters such as debt management, tax management and business structures.

Usually you can see a way ahead and you are working with your accountant and bank. But sometimes you feel financially stuck and you may want to discuss this with someone and we’re here to help.

Also, following is information about some assistance we may be able to help you tap into.

New fund to get advice for struggling farmers is now open

Joint statement by the National Council of Rural Support Trusts and New Zealand Bankers’ Association, 25 February 2020

A new initiative funded by banks and the government offering support for farmers struggling with farm debt is now up and running. 

The government has allocated $200,000 for the Farm Business Advice Support Fund, to be managed by Rural Support Trusts.

For a qualifying farmer the Fund will provide up to $6,000 to pay for financial or business advice from an independent consultant.

The National Council of Rural Support Trusts and New Zealand Bankers’ Association have recently signed the agreement for the Fund. Under the agreement, the RSTs will provide up to $3000, depending on an assessment of need, and the relevant bank will match that dollar for dollar.

RST National Council chair Neil Bateup says the fund is for a farmer who is feeling pressure. “This might be because there’s been some change or their bank has indicated they need to discuss their debt situation. The hope is that there may still be options available so that the wishes of all parties can form a solution for going forward.”

“There’s a recognition it’s in everyone’s best interest for a farmer to have up-to-date business and financial plans,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont. “This will inform conversations between the farmer and their bank.”

Rural Support Trusts will take an application from, or on behalf of, a farmer who might qualify for assistance.

The consultant will provide a report, which will be given to the farmer and their bank.

This initiative involves ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Heartland Bank, Rabobank, SBS Bank, TSB and Westpac. 

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Categories: North Canterbury

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Step up For Farming

Search Step up For Farming on Facebook or email events@ruralsupport.org.nz for updates

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Author: WandaLeadbeater

Connect, be active, try something new, take notice and give are all great ways to support your wellbeing.   Step Up for Farming is about getting out and about and taking steps towards your wellbeing. 

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Bay of Plenty Rural Connect Issue #13

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Author: JodieCraig
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Categories: National, Bay of Plenty

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Donations

We are a voluntary Charitable Trust and would welcome your donation to help us continue supporting our Rural Families.

You can make a donation to Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust in the following way:

Bank Transfer:
ANZ Bank 06-0317-0805560-01, ref: Donation

Please email us for a receipt.