12 May 2009

Drought relief extended to more areas

3:57 pm on 12 May 2009

The Government is extending drought relief to farmers in four more areas.

The measures, which include tax relief, will cover parts of North Canterbury, the North Island Central Plateau, Taihape and Wairarapa.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says farmers in these areas are heading for a tough winter, and with soil temperatures plunging, rain has come too late for many.

It follows the recent decision to assist drought-stricken farmers in the Hawke's Bay and around Gisborne and Wairoa.

Federated Farmers Wairarapa president Anders Crofoot says although there has been some rain in his area since the drought committee recommended two weeks ago that a declaration be made, it has not been enough to make any real difference.

Mr Crofoot says farmers forced to sell capital stock because of the drought will find some welcome relief in tax deferral measures offered by Inland Revenue.

Federated Farmers' North Canterbury president Chris Sundstrum says farmers in his region are experiencing similar challenges, with the addition of the aftermath of floods in the region late last year.