10 Mar 2014

Some areas as dry as in 2013 drought

10:01 am on 10 March 2014

A Civil Defence official has confirmed that parts of Northland and some areas of Waikato are as dry now as they were during the drought of 2013.

However, Clive Manley, who's the Auckland Council's civil defence and emergency management director, says a much smaller geographical area is affected this time around.

Mr Manley says not much rain is forecast to fall in the near future and some farmers are really struggling, but he hopes the more localised nature of the drought will make it easier for them to get emergency feed than it was last year.

Mr Manley is advising people in dry areas who are relying on roof water to check the water level in their tanks so they don't get caught out.

Waikato Federated Farmers head James Houghton says there is very little likelihood of a drought being officially declared in his region. He says a declaration is based on both weather conditions and farmers' ability to cope, and at the moment they're coping well.

Mr Houghton says that last year the whole of the North Island was in drought, which meant that farmers could not look to their neighbours for help to get resources, but this year Bay of Plenty, King Country and Manawatu have had good rain so there are plenty of resources such as palm kernel available.

For those farmers who don't want to send their stock to the works, he says, other farms are paying good money and buying stock.