Carter Looking At Drought In North Otago And South Canterbury

  • David Carter
Associate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

Associate Minister for Food and Fibre, Hon David Carter, will meet farmers in drought stricken North Otago and South Canterbury on Thursday, accompanied by Otago MP Gavan Herlihy, to see first-hand how farmers are faring under continuing drought conditions.

Mr Carter will start his day in Omarama speaking to High Country farmers at a Federated Farmers Field Day called to discuss the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998. The MPs will then meet with local farming families, including representatives of North Otago Federated Farmers and the North Otago Adverse Events Trust, at a Ngapara farm.

Mr Carter said he expected the Government's recent awarding of $80,000 to fund the drought relief effort in Otago would be discussed.

Farmers attending the meeting have also indicated they want to talk about their long term irrigation plans, including a request to Government for funds to help develop the project.

The MPs will then travel onto a farm near Kingsdown in South Canterbury, where they will meet with local farmers, including representatives from South Canterbury Federated Farmers. A recent application from South Canterbury farmers for drought relief assistance would be high on the agenda, said Mr Carter.

"South Canterbury farmers have already told us their situation is as drastic as that being experienced by their counterparts in Otago, and I'm confident we'll be able to announce some real relief for this region any day."

Mr Carter's visits to Otago and South Canterbury follow the Prime Minister Rt Hon Jenny Shipley and Food and Fibre Minister, Hon John Luxton's visits to Otago over the last month.

"The Government is very aware this part of the country is suffering, and we have made real efforts over the last month to travel to this region, to listen to the people, and act with drought relief packages."