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

Politics

John Key promotes Helen Clark. Andrew Little distances himself from her views. Say what? Who's behind Wellington's anti-Labour billboards? Ngapuhi break-away group would rather no settlement, than have the current board negotiate it John Key: Government keeping options open on hundreds jailed incorrectly National Party MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi compares international students to 'faulty fridges' Student loan defaulters break $1b mark Mortgage broker backs call for LVR exemptions for first home buyers The evolving classroom: Education's biggest revamp in 30 years Christchurch mum plans to rally against funding changes Under-pressure schools get dodgy with donations

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

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

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

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content