[3 February/ New Zealand Herald]

Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, has prompted government support after declaring drought conditions in Northland as a “medium-scale adverse event” due to the exceptionally dry conditions that farmers and growers were facing such as soil moisture deficits, low pasture covers, low supplementary feed and struggling maize crops. Government support includes extra funding to coordinate support through local organisations, and in extreme situations, Rural Assistance Payments (RAP’s) have been made available to farmers facing severe misfortune. Guy stated that the Inland Revenue Department would provide income equalisation discretion to provide relief to drought-affected farmers.