We support rural people through tough times. 

We are part of a nationwide network which helps rural people and their families during and after extreme weather or events which affect your livelihoods. This includes pastoral farming, forestry horticulture and other land based activities.

The Trust has access to networks, services, and government funding following an adverse event to help you get back on your feet. Our members are rural people who have faced the challenges that rural life brings. Free and confidential help is available through the Trust's coordinator, and contact is one-on-one at a place that suits you.


We all know that droughts can be long and relentless.  Look after yourself, family, employees and keep an eye on your neighbours.

Talk to trusted advisors and those who have survived this before, and make use of the help or support offered. The drought has been affecting Northland for some time and this is stressful while we wait for rain

Thinking About Destocking?

Talk to your local stock agent.  Book as early as possible; space at meat plants remains tight due to the Covid-19 disruption with shipping and markets.

Thinking About Feed?

In many regions, drought and the effects of COVID-19 have combined to create feed pressure for farmers.  Now is the time to seek help and plan for the next few months. If buying feed - act early. Order supplementary feed now while some is available.

Feed coordinators help connect farmers with available feed sources. They coordinate offers and requests, working with primary sector groups and trusts. To access this service, it is strongly advised that you have a feed plan in place. People answering the toll-free numbers listed can help you with that for free. Find out more about the feed coordination service.

Rural Support Trusts can take people’s details and email the National Feed coordinators directly.

Thinking About Animal Welfare?

Check out the information leaflet MPI has put together about looking after your animals through drought:

  • Have a robust and realistic plan and trigger points to take actions.  Decisions should be made for animal welfare and farm profitability.
  • Do a feed budget and stick to it, while feeding stock as well as possible.
  • Concerns about your animals?

Other useful links:

Thinking About Income?

For help with IRD, Work and Income and Working for Families go to:

Thinking About a Bore?

Contact your local council for help expediting any processes you may need to follow:


Support available: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/12312-farmer-support-toolkit-2016



COVID-19 is affecting us all. In our rural community it is making our challenges even harder. Call us for support or advice.

For up to date information on COVID-19 follow this link https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

For information about what and who are essential services, what you need to do and how to do it, how to transport stock. Plus other FAQs follow this link: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/covid-19-information-and-advice/


Health and Wellbeing

Here are some questions that can help you get through:

  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • Am I talking to someone about what’s on my mind?
  • Am I eating well and keeping physically active?
  • Am I having down-time to recharge?
  • Do I have a list of what is realistic to achieve today?

Using these questions can lock in small changes to make a big difference - see www.farmstrong.co.nz for more useful information and resources.

For a chat or yarn with someone familiar with the challenges of rural life, give us a call on 0800 787 254.
Or free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor. 



  • Lifeline - Call 0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999 or Free text 4357 (HELP)
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
  • Gambling Helpline: 0800 654 655


Join us on Facebook for more information and support.


News & Alerts


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

Monday, March 1, 2021

Author: Marcia

Artist Paul Rangiwahia grew up in the rural town of Hawera and is no stranger to farming stressors. His previous art is displayed outside New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Library and was his first foray into how art could support positive conversations about mental wellbeing. Paul was aware of the pressure farmers faced, not only with new legislation but also with general on-farm stress. To combat the silence and stigma related to mental unwellness he created the artwork called "The Top Six Inches" using the analogy for not only where the majority of the plant roots sit in the soil but also the top six inches of the brain where resilience is developed by farmers who take care of their wellbeing. 


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Dealing with drought conditions

MPI Update: 28th April 2021

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Author: SuperUser Account

Help is available to farmers, growers, and their families during drought and in the recovery period.

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 and 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.

Read the full update here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/funding-rural-support/adverse-events/dealing-with-drought-conditions/

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Categories: Northland


Drought support expanded as dry conditions bite along the east coast

Media Release: Hon Damien O’Connor

Monday, May 10, 2021

Author: SuperUser Account

The Government will boost its drought support to new parts of the country and continue helping farmers in areas facing long-term dry conditions, says Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor.

An extra $900,000 of funding will be used to help farmers around the country, with the current large-scale adverse event classification expanded to include Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago.

“Autumn has got off to an extremely dry start in multiple regions along the east coast of the country. Forecast rainfall is not expected to be enough to allow parched soils and pastures time to recover before winter,” Damien O’Connor said.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been working with industry organisations, councils and Rural Support Trusts to monitor the impacts of the dry conditions and assess the need for additional support.

“This is the second consecutive year of drought for parts of the country and low groundwater levels have not been able to recharge.”

The new funding will ensure feed support services can continue 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 more quickly.

“I encourage farmers who need help to do a feed budget to get them through winter, to contact the national feed planning service. Alternatively, the feed coordination service can help farmers who need supplementary feed immediately.”

“Support for the Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Tasman regions, and the Manawatū-Rangitīkei, Tararua and Nelson areas, will remain in place until 30 June 2021, when it will be reviewed.

“The Taranaki region, and the Ruapehu and Whanganui districts, have received good rainfall and soil moisture levels have recovered.”

“It’s encouraging to see conditions have been improving in some areas that were hit hard last year,” said Damien O’Connor.

Feed planning support can be accessed by phoning 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352) or 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 432 479 69). Farmers who need wellbeing support should call their Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP or 0800 787 254.

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Categories: Northland


Feed planning service

NZ-wide: for drought-affected farmers, and those affected by floods eariier.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Author: Terri Anderson

Feed planning service flyer

MPI and partner agencies DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, AgFirst and Federated Farmers are providing remote feed planning support to farmers.

How it works

This service is based on level of need and operates on three levels:

1. In the first instance, we’ll work out how much feed you need. A call to an industry or levy body will get you a free stock take assessment of your feed planning needs.

2. In the second instance, where it’s required, we can offer more advice and practical support. An advisor will help you understand what needs to be done and how you can go about it.

3. Finally, we can also refer you to someone who can offer more in-depth support. We can refer you to a farm systems consultant, who can provide help over the phone or visit if it is a serious animal welfare issue. Please note this level 3 support is not free.

Please call one of these toll-free numbers:

Dry stock sector – Beef + Lamb 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352)
Dairy sector – DairyNZ 0800 4 DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969)
AgFirst 0508 AGFIRST (0508 243 477)


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

You can make a donation in the following ways:

Bank Transfer:
BNZ Whangarei, 02-0492-0084131-00, ref: Donation

For a receipt: P O Box 77, Whangarei 0140