8 Dec 2010

Drought officially declared in Northland

8:01 pm on 8 December 2010

All areas north of Auckland Harbour have been declared a medium-level drought zone, triggering relief measures for farmers.

Last week, Northland farming, horticulture, and local government representatives asked Agriculture Minister David Carter to declare a medium-scale climatic event for the whole region.

Northland has not recovered from the severe summer-autumn drought it suffered and has had a serious lack of spring rain.

The formal drought declaration activates Government support measures that can include advisory services, welfare support, tax relief and income relief.

Mr Carter, who met Northland farmers on Wednesday, says even if it is a wet summer as some weather experts are predicting, it won't change the severity of the situation in Northland.

Mr Carter says it is likely other areas will find themselves the same situation as Northland.