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.
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.
National Council Chairperson: Neil Bateup (Waikato)
National Council Vice Chairperson: Gavan Herlihy (Otago)
David Hewson (South Canterbury)
Mike Green (Taranaki)
ARTICLE: About the National Council of Rural Support Trusts – interview with Gavan Herlihy (May 2017): https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11865160
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.