Drought could cost economy $1b

Last updated 09:09 07/03/2013

Has the drought affected you?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Drought in South Auckland

Related Links

Drought maps

Relevant offers


'Australia has no greater friend' - what Julie Bishop really thinks of New Zealand Greens call on Government to 'call in' major gas-fired power plant under RMA Auckland businessman William Yan set to head back to China for questioning Stacey Kirk: Grim prospects for suicide, as conversation goes quiet Security threats focus of Australian foreign minister's visit Stacey Kirk: tension still boils below the surface but cooler heads prevailing between New Zealand and Fiji Fiji Prime Minister extends personal invitation to banned TV journo Barbara Dreaver Cambridge locals barking mad at MP's response to dog breed law questions Fiji's Frank Bainimarama and Prime Minister John Key 'let bygones be byones' after diplomatic talks Government denies report NZ SAS in combat in Iraq

The big dry affecting large parts of the country could cost the economy $1 billion dollars, the Government has warned.

Yesterday Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy officially extended the declaration of drought, already in place in Northland, to cover South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay.

There are calls for the designation, which allows affected farmers to get financial support, to be extended further to cover Rangitikei and Manawatu.

Speaking to reporters as he travels with Prime Minister John Key in South America, Guy said an early estimate of the cost of the drought was $1 billion dollars.

"It's a little bit early to give you a definitive figure, but I would envisage it's in the region of $1 billion dollars, and that's why the government's reacting and providing some support to farmers," he said in comments reported by Radio New Zealand.

"That's of course emotional support, because it's a very stressful time, and also there'll be farmers out there in degrees of hardship, but they can turn up to MSD [the Ministry of Social Development] and get some financial support as well."

Banks have also announced support measures for farmers in drought affected areas, including suspending principal repayments and waiving bank fees.

Click on the map below to zoom in

Ad Feedback

- Stuff


Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content