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?

Published on Friday, December 8, 2017

NIWA recently launched a NZ Drought Index https://niwa.co.nz/climate/information-and-resources/drought-monitor which is a really useful piece of the drought puzzle. It takes into account four different measures of dryness, which are combined and categorised as:

  • dry
  • very dry
  • extremely dry
  • drought
  • severe 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.  That triggers extra government recovery assistance, such as additional funding for Rural Support Trusts to help their farming communities.

As well as the NZ Drought Index, MPI’s criteria includes:

  • options available for farmers to prepare for the event;
  • the likelihood and scale of the physical impact; and
  • the ability of the local community to cope socially and economically.

NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says, “It’s distinctly possible that much of the country will experience below normal rainfall through to the Christmas holiday period, and December temperatures are very likely to remain above average for all of New Zealand and the summer season as a whole.”

Check out your climate on NIWA's hotspot watch.

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STARTING THE CONVERSATION

The Top Six Inches - breaking the mental unwellness stigma by starting a conversation

Monday, March 1, 2021

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EXPANSION OF DROUGHT SUPPORT SERVICES 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Author: SarahWhite

The Government has announced it will expand its drought support to new parts of the country and continue helping farmers in areas facing long-term dry conditions.

An extra $900,000 has been allocated to help farmers, with the current large-scale adverse event expanded to include Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago.

The move will ensure feed support services can continue, animals are well cared for and that extra wellbeing assistance will be available to more farmers affected by drought.

Recovery and resilience coordinators will be employed to help coordinate support between Rural Support Trusts and industry groups, enabling affected communities to bounce back quicker.

You can read the Minister’s media release here (See attachment):

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-damien-oconnor

Updated drought classification maps can be found on MPI’s website:

https://www.mpi.govt.nz/.../dealing-with-drought-conditions/

Current situation:

Large-scale adverse event classification for drought

Region/district

Added to the classification, with extra support until 30 November 2021.

Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago regions.

Support extended until 30 November 2021.

Marlborough, North Canterbury, and the Chatham Islands.

Support continued until 30 June 2021, when it will be reviewed.

Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Nelson, and Tasman regions, and Manawatū, Rangitīkei, and Tararua districts.

Below are some details you may find useful:

Which regions have been added to the large-scale adverse event classification?

The area covered by the large-scale adverse event classification has been expanded to include Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago. Those regions are extremely dry and need extra recovery and wellbeing support.

Which areas will receive extra drought support until 30 November 2021?

At this stage it will be Marlborough, North Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, Otago, and the Chatham Islands.

Why are some areas being removed from the large-scale adverse event classification?

The Taranaki region, and Ruapehu and Whanganui districts, will be formally taken out of the large-scale adverse event classification on 30 June 2021. Those areas have received good rainfall, soil moisture levels have recovered and they no longer require extra support.

What will the extension mean for farmers?

It will enable affected farmers to continue to acc

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