The Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy has today officially declared a state of drought for rural areas north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with other regions likely to soon follow.
It is a declaration of a medium-scale event which means that extra Government funding will now be available for farmers in severe hardship.
“This drought decision has been made after receiving advice from the Ministry for Primary Industries, including soil moisture data from NIWA, and in consultation with the local community,” says Nathan Guy.
Auckland Council would like to assure rural communities that it acknowledges the hardships of farmers and will work with the relevant Rural Support Trusts and agencies to support recovery measures.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation with our neighbouring regional councils and will update Auckland on any changes if the need arises,” says Clive Manley Manager Civil Defence Emergency Management.
However, Aucklanders are urged not to hit the panic button and rush out to purchase and store water.
“I would like to make it clear that Aucklanders in suburban areas on a public water supply do not need to be worried about water shortage. The focus here is only on the agricultural community,” says Mr Manley.
If you are a farmer in area north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and require assistance, there is support available from Government agencies such as the IRD and standard assistance is available from the Ministry of Social Development.
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