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

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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'PIE DAY FRIDAY'

Community Events happening throughout North Canterbury in September

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Author: ClaireFord

‘PIE DAY FRIDAY’

Drought, Calving and Lambing Lunch Shout
‘Farmers Supporting Farmers’

Come and see us at your local café/bakery for lunch on us, this is a great reason to have a quick trip off farm with your staff and family.
We will also have some free resources for you to take home.
We look forward to seeing you all there!

Locations, dates and times:
Please note this is not only on Fridays

Date - Wednesday 9th September
Location - Kaikoura Bakery, 69a Beach Road, Kaikoura
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Date - Thursday 10th September
Location - Cheviot Tea Rooms, 33 Hall Street, Cheviot
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Date - Friday 11th September
Location - Brenda’s on Lyndon, 16 Lyndon Street, Waiau
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Date - Wednesday 16th September
Location - Fossil Point Café, 1 Valley Road, Greta Valley
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Date - Friday 18th September
Location – Oxford branch of Sheffield Pie Shop, 78 Main Street, Oxford
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Date - Thursday 24th September
Location – Darfield Bakery, 60 South Terrace, Darfield
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Date - Friday 25th September
Location - Dunsandel Country Café and Bar, 3374 Main South Road, Dunsandel
Time – 12 noon till 1.30pm

Voucher numbers limited on the day, enquiries to ncrst.coordinator@gmail.com

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Categories: North Canterbury

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Green drought and a white winter: North Canterbury prepares

- Feed covers in North Canterbury are generally 50-60% of normal levels - Experienced farmers tell newcomers to prepare for snow on top of drought.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Author: Terri Anderson

Farmers in dry parts of North Canterbury are likely to get a phone call to check in on how they are doing as the region moves from drought to winter, says Claire Ford, coordinator for the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust, who are driving a phone tree campaign.

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Categories: National, North Canterbury

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Feed Coordination and Planning service

Monday, June 8, 2020

Author: ClaireFord

Do you have your feed plan through to spring?

Call the free winter feed planning service to talk through your options to farm through to spring. This service is open to all stock owners, from lifestyle blocks to the largest stations, anywhere in New Zealand. You do not have to be drought affected. Call now:

·        0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 23 33 52)
·        0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 43 24 79 69)

Once you have identified your needs with a feed plan, order in food as soon as you can.

Feed coordination available

If you are running out of feed choices,  try the feed coordination service sooner rather than later. Four coordinators are set up nationally to help connect up farmers with available feed sources. While they may not be able to find all the feed you need, they are working with the primary sector groups and Trusts to help farmers and livestock owners in each region. 

Register with them through the 0800 numbers above, or directly here: I Need Feed 

·        If you have feed to donate register here: I Have Feed to Donate 
·        You can sell feed directly to farmers here: Feed Noticeboard - AgriHQ 

Where to buy feed

  • Feed Noticeboard - AgriHQ . Check back regularly as a lot of sellers are active now.
  • Your feed merchants. Some feed can take up to 12 weeks to arrive in NZ.
  • Trademe. Check the reputation of the seller and their products.
  • Your local facebook, farmer or lifestyle facebook groups.
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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.