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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

News & Alerts

STARTING THE CONVERSATION

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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Support Teams Ready To Help - Hawke's Bay

https://farmersweekly.co.nz/section/agribusiness/view/support-teams-ready-to-help

Monday, April 6, 2020

Author: Terri Anderson

Dedicated teams have been set up to provide support for Hawke’s Bay farmers and rural communities affected by drought and constrained by the national lockdown.

Hawke’s Bay Rural Advisory Group co-chairmen Wade Nilsson and Lochie MacGillivray say the eight teams cover water, feed, logistics, finance, welfare, animal health, Maori liaison and Wairoa.

“These teams are operational and can provide specialist support in their particular area,” MacGillivray says.

“We are conducting surveys with people in the worst drought-affected areas as well as further afield and are working hard to find ways to support people.

“Our initial survey results show the main issues are around feed and water shortages, soil and moisture deficits, TB movement control and delays in getting animals to the works. We are helping these people in partnership with other agencies.”

The rural community, particularly in Central Hawke’s Bay, faces unprecedented drought conditions. They need help urgently. Some communities are also affected by bovine TB stock control.

“For those we aren’t in contact with, you can still contact our 0800 RURAL HELP number.”

Nilsson says the situation has been changing daily and he urges farmers to check on their neighbours as often as possible to see how they are and offer support if needed.

“The rural community is in the middle of a severe drought along with other significant pressures such as covid-19. The rural community knows how to rally together and support each other. We urge people to do just this and look after each other.”

Nilsson says anyone needing support should contact the East Coast Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP for free and confidential advice or visit rural-support.org.nz.

Those wanting to buy or sell feed should check AgriHQ’s feed noticeboard at agrihq.co.nz/feed-noticeboard.

Farmers can find out if they qualify for financial help from the Farm Business Advice Support Fund, an initiative funded by banks and the Government that offers support for farmers struggling with farm debt.

For more information on the fund visit nzba.org.nz/2020/02/25/new-fund-to-get-advice-for-struggling-farmers-is-now-open/.

For more information on dealing with dry conditions visit www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/adverse-events/dealing-with-drought-conditions/.

The group, made up of representatives from rural and primary sector agencies, is working closely with Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

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Categories: National, East Coast

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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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Rural Support Trusts - how we can help in the M. bovis programme

We are more than just an ear to listen

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson

Your regional Rural Support Trust (RST) is on-hand to support farmers being affected by M. bovis.

Our services are free and confidential.

As well as someone to talk to about your concerns, we can help you navigate through the process. We have training in and experience with the M. bovis programme, and know how it works.

Whatever your experience looks like, we can help in many ways including:

  • Trained facilitators who know how the programme works, and the process involved to help you navigate though.
  • Listening to your concerns and issues.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Phone calls, texts, emails – at a time that suits you.
  • Visiting and attending meetings with you.
  • One on one support and wrap around support – for you, your family, and your farming team.
  • Connecting – if we don’t know the answer we will help connect you to people who do.
  • Peer support – connecting with other farmers that have been through the process.
  • Helping you and your family access counselling services.

Depending on the individual farming operation it can be a lengthy process, involving a number of M. bovis Programme teams and RSTs offer support throughout the process and the ability to help shift things along if they get stuck.

We are rural people, helping rural people – we are farming people who understand the challenges of rural life.

Just call 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP). There are Rural Support Trust branches all over the country. Ringing 0800 787 254 will connect you to help in your area.

Supporting Our Rural Community

0800 RURAL HELP

www.rural-support.org.nz

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Donations

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.