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Wairarapa drought declaration supported by Greater Wellington

Greater Wellington is supporting Agriculture Minister Todd McClay’s decision this morning to declare a drought in the Wairarapa.

Minister McClay says the decision to expand the medium-scale adverse event classification to the Wairarapa was due to “dry and difficult conditions, which aren’t expected to improve in the short-term”. The classification unlocks tax relief support and rural support payments for farmers and growers.

Greater Wellington chair Daran Ponter says the council is acutely aware of conditions in the Wairarapa.

“We welcome this declaration. Local farmers are already experiencing hardship following cyclones Gabrielle and Hale and the rural community’s wellbeing was a big part of the push for a declaration,” Cr Ponter says.

Greater Wellington advocated for the declaration alongside the Wairarapa Drought group, consisting of local and central government agencies, the Rural Support Trust, and Federated Farmers.

Cr Ponter says data on ground conditions was supplied to the minister to encourage the declaration.

“It’s clear the soil is very dry and not conducive to growing crops or sustaining pasture growth. With limited rainfall forecast for two to three months, I’m pleased this support has now been made available,” Cr Ponter says.

Greater Wellington is continuing to monitor soil moisture and rainfall levels and keeping the Ministry of Primary Industries and Wairarapa Drought Group updated with the latest information.

Farmers are encouraged to reach out to agencies for support if required, Cr Ponter says.

“Please reach out to the Rural Support Trust, family and friends for support and try not to shoulder the stress of this difficult situation alone.”

Greater Wellington also advises farmers to get in touch with their Environment Restoration Advisor who can provide support and help connect people to additional support services.

 

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