Drought support for Horowhenua farmers and growers

Published on April 02, 2024


The Government is extending crucial support to Horowhenua farmers, growers, and surrounding regions as we continue to face dry weather conditions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson have officially classified parts of the North Island, including the Horowhenua area, under the medium-scale adverse event category due to ongoing drought conditions.

This important classification expands the existing support measures from parts of the South Island to now include Northland, Taranaki, Horizons, and Greater Wellington regions, emphasising the growing concerns of drought across both islands.

"As parts of our district and the wider North Island continue to experience severely dry conditions, it's vital that we come together to support our farmers and growers," says Mayor Bernie Wanden. "The extension of the medium-scale adverse event classification to include our region is a critical step in providing the necessary relief and support to the Horowhenua community."

The government has pledged up to $80,000 to Rural Support Trusts that serve the Northland, Taranaki, Manawatū-Rangitīkei, Tararua, Horowhenua, and Wairarapa areas. This funding is aimed at strengthening the efforts of these trusts in delivering assistance and advice to those affected by the drought.

In addition to financial support, the classification enables the consideration of tax relief measures and Rural Assistance Payments by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), offering a much-needed lifeline to those impacted by the drought conditions. The situation remains challenging, with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) actively engaging with sector groups and farmers to navigate the effects of El Nino and prepare for continued dry conditions.

"We must utilise all available resources to support our farmers and growers during these tough times. Every bit of support makes a difference and we're thankful for the assistance that keeps our community resilient," Mayor Bernie says.

Anyone looking for support due to the drought is encouraged to contact the Rural Support Trust directly by calling 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) or online at www.rural-support.org.nz.