Medium scale adverse event declared in South IslandPrimary Industries
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has today officially declared the drought conditions on the east coast of the South Island as being a medium-scale adverse event.
“This is recognition of the extreme dry conditions farmers and growers are facing, and triggers additional Government support,” says Mr Guy.
The areas affected cover parts of Otago, Canterbury and the Marlborough District.
“The Ministry for Primary Industries has been monitoring the conditions very closely over recent months. Most farmers have coped so far by destocking and using feed supplies, and most will not need extra support. However it’s clear that conditions are only going to get tougher as the seasons change and we need to prepare now.
This week local groups, including Rural Support Trusts and Federated Farmers, have acknowledged the need of medium scale recovery measures to deal with the consequence of the drought.
“Extra Government funding will now be available to Rural Support Trusts who work closely with farmers, providing support and guidance.
“Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) will also be made available in the next few months. These will be available from Work and Income, through the Ministry of Social Development. They are equivalent to the Jobseeker Support benefit and are available to those in extreme hardship.
“It’s important to note that support is already available from Government agencies in all regions. Farmers should contact IRD if they need help or flexibility with making tax payments, and standard hardship assistance is available from Work and Income.
“Federated Farmers have started their feedline to coordinate supplies, and it’s pleasing to see some banks offering special packages.”
Mr Guy made the announcement today at Opuha Dam in South Canterbury which will run dry in the next few weeks without decent rainfall.
“Many rural people can be reluctant to ask for help, but it is important for them to know that support is available.”
Mr Guy says the Government is also keeping a very close eye on Wairarapa and southern Hawkes Bay which are also suffering from very dry conditions.
What are the criteria for declaring a medium scale adverse event?
- There are three levels of ‘adverse events’ – localised, medium and national. These can cover events like drought, floods, fire, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
- The criteria for assessing the scale of an adverse event are:
- Options available for the community to prepare for and recover from the event;
- Magnitude of the event (likelihood and scale of physical impact), and;
- Capacity of the community to cope economically and socially impact.