National Party Spokesperson for Rural Communities Barbara Kuriger has backed the call for the Government to declare a medium scale adverse event to better support those affected by the rapidly emerging drought conditions in Taranaki.
“Taranaki Regional Council have today met with organisations such as DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Rural Advisory Group, Rural Support Trust, Taranaki Veterinary Association and Beef & Lamb NZ, with those organisations all calling on the Government to declare a medium scale adverse event for the whole Taranaki region,” Mrs Kuriger says.
“While Coastal Taranaki is of immediate concern the rest of Taranaki is likely to come under similar stress in the next few weeks, unless substantial rain falls. The situation is serious and exacerbated by the fact it is not long since these farms were waterlogged, in the most extreme change of weather patterns I have seen in my career.
“Approximately a third of dairy farms in coastal areas will need to dry-off their whole herds within the next few weeks, with more to follow.
“Everyone from farm owners to sharemilkers are beginning to come under severe financial pressure and I am also concerned about the welfare of the Taranaki people and their livestock, due to the lack of supplementary feed and feed available to be purchased.
“Without some good rain soon, I expect the strain will be felt in other areas around New Zealand and along with these rural organisations I am calling on the Government to act immediately and to support these farmers,” Mrs Kuriger says.