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.


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

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/protection-and-response/coronavirus/latest-questions-about-covid-19-and-primary-industries/ 



The drought has been affecting Northland for some time and this is stressful while we wait for rain

Thinking About a Bore Contact your local council for help expediting any processes you may need to follow. 

Thinking About Destocking Talk to your stock agent early if you need to destock. Bear in mind many plants  are operating at a 30% reduced capacity due to COVID 19 working practices.   

Thinking About Feed Order your feed now. The prices are slightly higher as imports are slow in coming in due to a lack of workforce in some dockyards. This situation is improving each week.

The prices For the Dairy, Beef and Lamb and Agricultural Services, assistance with budgets and planning are available here: http://www.rural-support.org.nz/Portals/3/feed%20planning_1.jpg  Please note this service is not free.   

Thinking About Income  For help with IRD, Work and Income and Working for Families file:///C:/Users/64275/Documents/website/2020%20AE-Farming%20thru%202020%20drought.pdf


Thinking about Animal Welfare Follow this link file:///C:/Users/64275/Documents/website/Drought%20animal%20welfare.pdf


Drought Recovery Webinar Series

Thursday, April 9, 2020

The Rural Support Trust is bringing a series of free webinars to all. Each week there will be a brief presentation from our special guests followed by the opportunity for Q&A.

This week, find out what Industry have been doing, what business and technical advice is available during the classification of a drought and what new supports are being developed and offered to our farmers.

To register for this webinar please use the following link:



Fortnighly drought news

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


Health and Wellbeing

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

Check out our free web seminars:

With Lance Burdett https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158248100553814&set=pcb.10158248112553814&type=3&theater

Join our Challenge on Facebook



0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999 
Free text 4357 (HELP)


0800 376 633


0800 726 666

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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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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Managing through drought

Advice for rural people

Friday, February 14, 2020

Author: Terri Anderson

For all drought information refer to Northland Regional Council: 0800 002 004                 




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.



  • 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.
  • Destocking? Book in as early as possible; in some areas there can be delays of several weeks.

Concerns about your animals? 


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Categories: Northland


2020 BBQ Dinner

Awanui - Wednesday February 26

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Author: Julie Jonker


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Categories: Northland




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