22 Mar 2013

Farmers work to adapt to climate change

6:52 am on 22 March 2013

Maori farmers are working together to adapt to climate change, which they are blaming for the extraordinary dry spell that has plagued rural communities in the North Island for the past three months.

The Federation of Maori Authorities says it is going to take two more summers for affected farmers to fully recover from the set back.

Chief executive Te Horipo Karaitiana says some farmers have been able to avoid the full impact of the dry spell because they have other investments in sectors like forestry and commercial property.

He says diversification is part of the picture, but it's also about creating smarter policies that reduce the impact of drought conditions.

Mr Karaitiana says federation members are fully aware that New Zealand's climate is getting warmer and will directly effect their businesses.

He says co-operating with farmers and Maori organisations in other parts of the country is another option.

Mr Karaitiana says members are already talking amongst themselves about what they can do to be better prepared.